Tag Archives: Bill Cosby

Cosby walks on a technicality

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

When word came out today that Bill Cosby’s sexual assault conviction had been overturned, my thoughts turned immediately to a sign I once saw way down yonder in the office of the Liberty County, Texas, district attorney.

It spoke to the desire to see a conviction “upheld on a technicality.”

Of course, that never happens. Technicalities usually result in situations such as what happened today.

Cosby is going home after serving two years of a sentence in which he was convicted of sexually assaulting a woman after giving her high-powered drugs. The technicality? The Pennsylvania Supreme Court said Cosby was denied due process because a prosecuting attorney had said there was insufficient evidence to bring the case to trial. That prosecutor left, was replaced by someone else, who then brought the case to a trial that produced a conviction for the still-disgraced former comic and film/TV icon.

Bill Cosby was denied his constitutional Fifth Amendment guarantee against self-incrimination, the court said in its 79-page opinion.

Bill Cosby Released From Prison After Sexual Assault Conviction Overturned (msn.com)

Two things about this case deserve brief mention.

One is that a conviction reversal involving someone with the kind of celebrity status as Bill Cosby has pushed most of the other grim news aside; the nation now is going to talk about Cosby rather than talking about other stuff, such as phony election theft and related matters.

The other thing is that Bill Cosby is — in many Americans’ eyes — still a convicted sexual assailant despite the court’s decision to overturn the conviction. to my way of thinking, the legal technicality that sprung Cosby loose from the slammer does not wipe away what a trial jury concluded.

Bill Cosby: He’s no Mandela, MLK Jr. or Gandhi

I don’t usually comment on convicted criminals, but I cannot let this issue pass without offering a brief response.

Bill Cosby, the formerly revered comedian and actor, is now a convicted sexual assailant. A jury convicted him of sexually assaulting a woman. He’s now spending three to 10 years in prison.

But now he says he doesn’t feel remorse because he is a “political prisoner,” in the mold of Nelson Mandela, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and Mahatma Gandhi.

No, he isn’t.

Hmm. Mandela was held on Robben Island for 27 years because he protested apartheid in South Africa; Dr. King was held in jail because he opposed oppression of African-Americans in the United States; Gandhi was imprisoned because he wanted independence for India.

Yep, those great men were political prisoners.

Bill Cosby is in the slammer because he was convicted of sexual assault. There is absolutely zero moral equivalence between what he did and why the men to whom he compares himself were denied their freedom.

Be quiet, Mr. Cosby, and do your time.

The system worked: Cosby sent to prison

Many of us have griped on occasion about the occasional inequity of the U.S. criminal justice system.

I have to say, though, that today the system worked well.

A judge in Pennsylvania sentenced the man once known as “America’s Dad” to three to 10 years in a state prison and declared William Cosby to be a “violent  sexual predator.”

Bill Cosby’s status as a comic superstar, TV star, iconic figure didn’t matter as the judge sent Cosby to the slammer. What’s more, his name will be etched forever on a sex offender registry when and/or if he gets out of prison; the man is 81 years of age.

A jury convicted Cosby of drugging and raping Andrea Constand in 2004. Other women have come forward to allege that he had done the same thing to them.

I take no joy in applauding the sentence and Cosby’s new status as a prison convict. Some years ago, my wife and I attended an event at West Texas A&M University that featured Cosby, who brought the house down with a rip-roaring stand-up routine.

That was then. The here and now tells us something quite different about Cosby and what a trial jury determined him to be.

He is getting precisely what he deserves.

Start packing up, Coach Meyer

This is just me, but it looks for all the world as though another noted athletic figure is about to be shown the door.

Ohio State University head football coach Urban Meyer is now on “administrative leave” while the school — using an outside investigative firm — looks into allegations that Meyer looked the other way while one of his assistants was abusing his wife.

The “Me Too” movement well might be set to score another “victory” in its effort to eradicate this kind of disgraceful behavior.

As ESPN.com has noted, Meyer attained college football greatness leading a team — at the University of Florida — at a time when there was much greater tolerance of players’ misconduct.

Read the ESPN story here.

The Ohio State story is quite a bit different. It involves an assistant coach Zach Smith, who allegedly was physically assaulting his now former wife, Courtney Smith. Meanwhile, Urban and others knew about it, but took no action.

Urban Meyer has been perceived for a long time to be one of the good guys in intercollegiate sports. This story, if it proves true, peels away that veneer more than likely forever.

The “Me Too” movement has arisen out of an increasing societal intolerance of abusive behavior of powerful men. It has ended the careers of men in sports, entertainment and politics. As it should! It has, in the case of Bill Cosby, resulted in a criminal conviction. There likely will be others.

I don’t want Urban Meyer to be the next one to be given the boot. If the OSU investigation proves that, yes, the head coach knew about sexual abuse involving a staff member but looked away … well, the school will have no choice but to fire him.

Jury delivers justice to ‘America’s Dad’

Earlier today, a Norristown, Pa., jury of seven men and five women did something many of us a decade ago never would have imagined.

They convicted one of America’s most iconic entertainers of three counts of sexual assault. To be totally candid, I am still trying to process the conviction of Bill Cosby of the crimes he was accused of committing.

Think about this for a moment. There will be no more “alleged” adjective attached to the counts of sexual assault that Cosby committed against Andrea Constand, a one Temple University employee with whom Cosby was acquainted.

Cosby is now a convicted felon who faces the possibility of a lengthy prison term for the three counts of sexual assault. As I understand it, he could be sentenced to 30 years in prison: 10 years for each of the counts.

Now, as an 80-year-old felon, does anyone really expect the judge to throw Cosby in prison for 30 years? I don’t think so.

However, I won’t buy into the canard that Cosby’s age by itself should compel sentencing leniency. As has been noted already, he wasn’t 80 when he attacked Constand; the assault occurred in 2004, meaning Cosby was a “spring chicken” of 66 years of age. As such, he ought to spend a good stretch of time behind bars.

I am left to wonder out loud whether we are witnessing the “Me Too” and “Time’s Up” movements coalescing at just the right moment as it regards Bill Cosby. The jury that heard this retrial convicted the once-revered Cosby after the emergence of the twin movements that arose from accusations of sexual abuse that have leveled high-level entertainers and politicians.

Cosby’s original trial, which ended with a hung jury in 2015, hadn’t yet been overshadowed by the movement that has empowered women around the world to speak out against abuse, harassment and assault.

We have entered a new era. Justice has been delivered to Bill Cosby. The man once known as “America’s Dad” has become “America’s Sexual Predator.”

Is it the end of the line for Cosby?


Andrea Constand says Bill Cosby sexually assaulted her.

The alleged crime, though, occurred a long time ago. Ten years ago, to be exact.

The authorities have arrested the iconic comedian/actor/social commentator and he posted bond on $1 million bail.

It’s looking like the end of the line for Cosby. His public image is in shambles. Universities that bestowed honorary doctoral degrees have pulled them back.

Then again …

The allegations from Constand and seemingly countless other women have ravaged Cosby’s once-stellar reputation as a role model. He was seen as the consummate family man. He portrayed one on a long-running television show, blazing trails for other African-American entertainers in the process.

Then came the accusations from women that he drugged them, forced himself on them without their consent.

These allegations are troubling — and disgusting — in the extreme.

It’s fair to ask one simple question of Andrea Constand and perhaps all the others: Why did you wait so many years before leveling these horrendous charges?

It is the delay in coming forward that troubles me to a large extent, although not to the extent that the allegations themselves have troubled me.

If any of these cases ever get heard in a courtroom, I am quite sure an inquisitive public will hear plenty of reasons why these women waited so long.


Knock off the vulgarity, talking heads


I’ll give Fox News credit for exhibiting a low tolerance for what poured out of the mouths of two of its contributors.

Lt. Col. Ralph Peters and Stacey Dash decided to get downright filthy when referring to President Obama. I won’t repeat what they said here, but let’s just say that Peters’s comment included a profane reference to a certain private body part, while Dash referred to fecal matter when describing what the president thinks about the war on terrorism.

Fox suspended both of them.

This is important to note for a simple reason. Other notable Americans have used hideous language when discussing public figures and politicians. Yet no sanctions were leveled against them.

The most notable example involves comedian Bill Maher, who fancies himself as a political commentator, who once used an equally disgusting term to describe former Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin. He’s still on the air, to the lasting shame of the network — HBO — that carries his show.

The political debate is overheated enough already. The tone has been set by at least one of the Republicans running for the presidency.

As for the comments of the likes of Dash and Peters, well, suffice to say that their employer — the Fox News Channel — is known as a magnet for conservative television news viewers. Perhaps their vile commentary comports with the views held — if not expressed — by many of those viewers.

The issues are serious and they deserve equally serious analysis. Dropping vulgar bombs on the air only distracts us from the importance of the matters under discussion.

I’m just glad to see that the network has established that such language isn’t appropriate when referencing candidates for the presidency, let alone the man who’s already holding the most important office in the land.

A once-respected comedian — Bill Cosby — once decried fellow comedians’ use of filthy language. He would say that those comics who resort to f-bombs and other profane terms do so because they don’t have anything clever or interesting to say.

The same can be said for political commentary.


Iran, nukes … and Bill Cosby

Well, that about covers it.

President Obama’s press conference today was meant to explain the details of the recently completed negotiation to stop Iran from producing a nuclear weapon.

Then the question turned to Bill Cosby and whether the president could revoke the comedic icon’s Presidential Medal of Freedom on the basis of the rape charges that have been leveled against him by several women.


Obama’s answer was deft and on point.

There’s no precedent for revoking such a medal and there’s no mechanism now to do it, he said.

Cosby received the medal in 2002 from President George W. Bush. The world didn’t know what it knows now of what Cosby allegedly has done. It’s been reported recently that court documents show that he admitted to giving Quaaludes to women and then had sex with them.

It’s all quite disgusting.

Obama then ventured his own view on what he considers to be rape. “I’ll say this: if you give a woman, or a man for that matter, without his or her knowledge a drug and then have sex with that person without consent, that’s rape,” the president said.

OK. By my understanding of what is known, I believe Bill Cosby has admitted to being a rapist.

Should the White House revoke his Medal of Freedom?

Leave the issue alone — and let Bill Cosby try to fend off the lawsuits that are going to bury him.

This is in ‘defense’ of a philanderer?

Holy bleeping mackerel! I need to catch my breath over this one.

Bill Cosby has been accused by several women of drugging them and then assaulting them sexually. The comedic icon and symbol of upstanding moral behavior hasn’t denied doing these things, at least not publicly.

Now we hear from his wife of many years, Camille, who has said that the women “consented” to the drugs and to having sex with her husband.


Someone has to help me understand this one.

This is Mrs. Cosby’s defense of her husband? Am I to understand, based on what she’s said, that Camille Cosby believes her husband had sex with other women but that it’s somehow OK because they gave their consent?

It’s like the spouse of a murderer saying, “It’s OK that my husband/wife killed that person. He just needed killin’.”

According to the New York Post, Mrs. Cosby is “well aware of his cheating, but she doesn’t believe that her husband is a rapist.”

What in the name of all that is holy am I missing here?


Yep, Lemon's been a lemon

Don Lemon hasn’t had a distinguished year in front of the CNN news camera.

Although I don’t like critiquing media “performances,” Lemon’s string of gaffes in 2014 is worth a brief comment.

Columbia Journalism Review has slung a barb at Lemon, one of CNN’s go-go guys, for his amazing string of terrible interviews. He made CJR’s “worst journalism” list for 2014.


They’ve made news in ways Lemon, or his bosses at CNN, ever would want.

He wondered aloud whether Malaysian Air Flight 370 vanished into a “black hole,” only to be reminded by the expert to whom he asked the question that a black hole would swallow the entire planet.

During the Bill Cosby controversy involving allegations of sexual assault, Lemon said on the air that there are ways to avoid performing oral sex, such as using one’s teeth.

While reporting from Ferguson, Mo., during the rioting in the wake of the grand jury decision to no-bill the officer who shot Michael Brown, Lemon reported he could “smell marijuana in the air,” as if that had any significance.

Good journalism requires an element of trust that must be built between the reporter and his audience, whether they’re readers or TV viewers.

Don Lemon has squandered a good bit of that trust.

Let’s hope the young man repairs it in 2015.