1. It looks like Bill Cosby is going to be acquitted, and probably rightly so, though probably for the wrong reason: bias. The jury is deadlocked, and I’d bet my head that one or more hold-outs just can’t accept the fact that that nice Cliff Huxtable would do those horrible things unless the victim consented somehow. Cheat on his wife. maybe. But not that.
Celebrity defendants whose public images are benign begin criminal trials with automatic unreasonable doubt built-in; this is part of the reason O.J. and Robert Blake (“Baretta”) avoided murder convictions. Celebrities with less sterling reputations are not so fortunate: had Bill Cosby been the one who shot a woman he barely knew at his home under strange circumstances, he would have probably been acquitted. Unfortunately for Phil Spector, the pop record producer had a well-established reputation for being nuts. The reasons Cosby can be acquitted for just reasons is that the victim is on record calling and chatting with him dozens of times after she was drugged and sexually assaulted, and because only one of the 50 or so Cosby victims was allowed to testify to show a pattern of behavior. The standard of proven guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is intentionally difficult to meet. There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that Cosby is guilty, and his eventual acquittal won’t change my certainty. Nonetheless, those attacking the verdict and the jurors will be wrong, just as they were with O.J. and Casey Anthony.
2. One more thing regarding Cosby: yesterday I heard a CNN anchor who was about to interview another Cosby victim describe the woman as someone who has accused Bill Cosby of “inappropriate conduct.” The host caught herself, sort of, by adding, after a pause, “to say the least.” The woman claimed she had been raped. Even the anchor couldn’t bring herself to attach to dear, funny, sweet Cos such a heinous crime, so she engaged in craven equivocation. “Inappropriate conduct”? Belching at the dinner table is inappropriate conduct. Drugging trusting young women and raping them is entirely different.
This is CNN.
I regard a broadcast news journalist stating that Bill Cosby has been accused of “inappropriate conduct” misleading, incompetent, and fake news.
3. I would make this an ethics quote of the day, but do not want to saturate the blog with this issue more than it is already, though not by any fault of mine. Camille Paglia, in an interview with the Weekly Standard, said, among other things,
“Had Hillary won, everyone would have expected disappointed Trump voters to show a modicum of respect for the electoral results as well as for the historic ceremony of the inauguration, during which former combatants momentarily unite to pay homage to the peaceful transition of power in our democracy. But that was not the reaction of a vast cadre of Democrats shocked by Trump’s win. In an abject failure of leadership that may be one of the most disgraceful episodes in the history of the modern Democratic party, Chuck Schumer, who had risen to become the Senate Democratic leader after the retirement of Harry Reid, asserted absolutely no moral authority as the party spun out of control in a nationwide orgy of rage and spite. Nor were there statesmanlike words of caution and restraint from two seasoned politicians whom I have admired for decades and believe should have run for president long ago—Senator Dianne Feinstein and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi. How do Democrats imagine they can ever expand their electoral support if they go on and on in this self-destructive way, impugning half the nation as vile racists and homophobes?”
Of course she’s right, and Ethics Alarms has been discussing and condemning this terrible phenomenon since November. Do most Democrats not see this, do they just not care, or do they not have the integrity to speak out against their own party even though they know how wrong it is?
I see no fourth explanation. Is there one?
4. From Ethics Alarms head issue scout Fred, we learn that Ted Nugent has pledged to stop using harsh language, saying, “I’m going to take a deep breath, and I’m going to back it down, and if it gets fiery, if it gets hateful, I’m going away. I’m not going to engage in that kind of hateful rhetoric anymore.” Among the many colorful things he said when Barack Obama was President was calling him a a “subhuman mongrel” and Hillary Clinton a “worthless bitch.” Now that a critical mass of Democrats who are as bat-crazy as he is and one of them started shooting Republican Congressmen, Ted’s had a change of heart.
Too late. His sudden enlightenment regarding responsible political speech would have been welcome and meaningful while Obama was in office. Now that his brand of polarizing and irresponsible speech has led where he should have known it would lead, he’s discovered respect. I—DON’T—CARE, and all is not forgiven.
5. But since this jerk has resurfaced, I might as well air a Nugent-related ethics complaint. When some of the left-leaning readers here were desperately searching for a rationalization to support Kathy Griffin’s bloody Trump head stunt, Commenter Chrissy-Boy wrote, that Nugent had advocated terrorist-style violence when he said last year, We should ride in there and chop their heads off.”. Chrissy Boy is a friend and an honest man, so I took his quote as accurate; I did not remember it. Even as stated, I thought it was a poor analogy for what Griffin did, but other commenters picked up Chrissy Boy’s banner. Wrote another commenter I hold in high regard:
“Nugent was brought up as an example of the Right accepting similar behavior. That was a direct response to your false claim that the Right would never accept such behavior, and that the Left is much worse. You keep ignoring this point and choosing to respond to strawman arguments instead.”
Maybe Chrissy-Boy was misled by one of many misleading articles using Nugent’s comment to defend Griffin. Maybe the other commenter, like me, took him at his word without checking. But I learned later that the Nugent quote was not accurately or fairly relayed here. What Ted really said was “We need to ride into that battlefield and chop their [Democrats’] heads off in November.”
“Into that battlefield” and “in November”makes the Nugent’s metaphor explicit and unmistakable. This wasn’t even one of Nugent’s nuttier statements. He was talking about the upcoming election (and far from the first individual from either party to refer to elections as “battles”) and “chop their heads off” meant “defeat them.” Obviously. Trump’s bloody head had no similarly benign meaning. It meant “Hate him” and “Wish him dead.”
I don’t appreciate being tricked into debating fake quotes, and I won’t tolerate false history and news being spread here. I have to trust commenters. Don’t lie to me again. I expect Ethics Alarms commenters who cite facts to do the checking.