One place where Facebookers dare not go: Bill Cosby Trial Outcome

Even with a search for “Cosby” and clicking on “Posts from Friends” I can’t find a single one of my 913 Facebook friends offering an opinion on the outcome of the Bill Cosby criminal trial. To me this is in some ways more interesting than what they might have said. Plainly this topic has been front-page news and is currently the top left story on nytimes.com (but maybe that is part of the problem with the U.S.?). My Facebook friends are not afraid to Speak Truth to Power, e.g., denouncing the dictatorship of the Trumpenfuhrer and describing their plans to #resist. I don’t think that any of them would face social consequences for condemning Cosby so at least the ones who consider him guilty should be posting, no?

[What’s my personal opinion, you might ask? I think this shows that the legal system is not well-suited to the challenge presented. If it is legal for two adults to go into a private (with no witnesses) room and have sex without any kind of written contract in advance or video camera recording the entire interaction, how are judges and jury members who weren’t in that room supposed to figure out what happened? Testimony? Especially if there is cash on the line, that makes veteran litigators laugh. From the Divorce Litigation chapter: “People who are crazy and sociopathic are great witnesses,” said one attorney with more than 20 years of experience in the courtroom. “They can lie without batting an eye and sound completely credible. That’s why con artists thrive. If we were good at assessing credibility none of us would ever get ripped off.”; from the International chapter: “Good liars can do very well in this system,” [German litigator Carola] Offenhausen responded. “And though domestic violence is not a factor in the divorce it is very helpful for getting custody.”

The result of the above is that a deadlocked jury would be a likely outcome. Because there wasn’t any real evidence of what happened during the Cosby-Constand encounters, a juror’s vote would necessarily be more about his or her personal experience than about the “evidence” presented. As there is no limit to how many times a criminal defendant can be tried, prosecutors can potentially keep Cosby on trial at 120-day intervals until he dies.]

Here’s an interesting reaction from the lawyer handling some of the cash-seeking civil lawsuits against Cosby:

‘We can never overestimate the blinding power of celebrity. But justice will come,’ [Gloria] Allred said [Daily Mail]

In other words, the jury was too stupid/emotional to weigh the facts dispassionately. (I would hesitate to call people I hadn’t met stupid, but in any case, isn’t Cosby’s “celebrity” working against him at this point? At the moment he is primarily famous for being accused of sexual assault, no?)

Readers: Is your Facebook feed quiet on this subject? If not, what are people saying?

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14 Comments

  1. toucan sam

    June 17, 2017 @ 11:26 pm

    1

    Mine’s dead except one liberal said RAPE IS ALWAYS WRONG in all caps. I think we can all agree rape is wrong. The real question is it okay for a celebrity to grab a woman by the pussy?

  2. Roger

    June 17, 2017 @ 11:34 pm

    2

    In a case of man vs. woman, side with the woman. When it is white vs. black, side with the black. The Cosby case is ssoooo confusing!

  3. Jim Grey

    June 17, 2017 @ 11:42 pm

    3

    Dead silent. As if this isn’t happening at all.

  4. Viking1

    June 18, 2017 @ 1:04 am

    4

    @ Roger:

    this is not confusing on the first level:

    Race trumps gender. Black men got the vote 50 years before white women. Obama could get elected, but not HRC. So Cosby should be fine.

    On the second level, Cosby has been chastising blacks for acting black. That makes Cosby white acting. So Cosby does not have his blackness as protection.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4628960

  5. Roger

    June 18, 2017 @ 12:17 pm

    5

    NPR Radio has had anti-Cosby stories every day, with guests saying that he is guilty. My explanation is that NPR caters to a liberal white female audience, with not many blacks listening.

  6. Jackie

    June 18, 2017 @ 12:40 pm

    6

    Part of the problem is that Constand is NOT a sociopath, so she was a so-so witness who made conflicting statements to the police. Most people who are not sociopathic contradict themselves over some detail if you keep asking them questions, especially in stressful situations.

    I really didn’t understand the reason for Constand’s physical presentation, which was basically that of a butch lesbian gym teacher type – mannish jacket, mannish haircut, little or no makeup. (This may in fact be how she appears in real life but the courtroom is a type of theater and the plaintiff and witnesses are dressing for a role – when you see thug defendants dressed like fresh face choir boys in a coat and tie and clean shaven with their hair neatly cut , the only other time they are ever going to look like that is at their funeral and maybe even not then.) I understand that the prosecution would not have wanted to present her as a seductress but I think they would have been better off presenting her as a feminine but virginal type than as a gender confused woman. Even her mannish face could have been softened with makeup. Because gender presentation is not one of the things that we talk about anymore (other than to say that you can present as whoever you want whenever you want), this didn’t get mentioned at all in the press accounts but it was clear from the photos of Constand.

    But anyway, I think that Constand’s presentation added to the jury’s confusion. In real life, men like Cosby are really not picky about who they sleep with – this is one of their “secrets” for sleeping with a lot of women. Once you lower your standards to the point where no woman is too fat or too ugly to sleep with, your odds get much better. Cosby himself looks hideous nowadays without makeup – his complexion is horribly mottled like a human calico cat. Maybe the jury figured that they were sort of an even match who wouldn’t mind each other’s company. Constand also was, by her own admission, looking for career assistance from Cosby and they figured that it might have been an implicit quid pro quo. Or maybe (mistakenly) some of the jurors thought that the aggressively hetero Cosby would not have been interested in someone so butch.

    There is also the factor that Constand, again by her own admission, voluntarily took whatever pills Cosby offered – this was not a case where he slipped something into her drink. This does not legally negate the fact that she may have later become incapable of giving consent, it still must weigh in the minds of (some) jurors.

  7. Ivan

    June 18, 2017 @ 1:23 pm

    7

    “horribly mottled like a human calico cat”

    You’ve just committed an act of microaggression against my calico cat. She ran to her safe space now !

  8. Tom

    June 18, 2017 @ 3:54 pm

    8

    RAPE IS ALWAYS WRONG in all caps. I think we can all agree rape is wrong.

    The main problem is when a strong term like ‘murder’ is redefined into ‘said something mean’ or even ‘did not behave as I wanted’. For relevant examples, the ever-evolving academic ‘consent’ rules on campus, or the frankly bizarre Assange case. We then have inappropriately strong reactions to when someone is accused of ‘murder’.

    Another problem is fake accusations of serious(?) crimes being flung about with impunity, not to mention often adjudicated by amateurs in a LARP of a court process. I think we are now fully used to accusers being anonymous “by reasons of muh legal” while the accused is dragged through the mud with cameras flashing.

    (Personally, regarding the college issues, I think the wisest course would be to end the co-educational era. I’m sure feminists, given the statistics we hear, would heartily agree.)

  9. the other Donald

    June 18, 2017 @ 5:32 pm

    9

    We just want more helicopter posts, preferably with children involved. All this litigation between adults is depressing.

  10. MVI5

    June 19, 2017 @ 12:54 am

    10

    I would also like to know what the medical students are up to.

  11. philg

    June 19, 2017 @ 1:17 am

    11

    MVI5: Medical school is on vacation right now! Starts up again in July.

    Donald: Litigation based on what kind of sex two Americans had, and/or the current gender ID of an American, and/or how much a married American who wants to go have sex with other people should get paid, by the former sex partner, is arguably not the aspect of American society that we like to highlight. Certainly politicians don’t talk about this directly in speeches.

    However, I think that people will look back and see this as a defining feature of late 20th/early 21st century America. We moved from monogamy to polygamy and couldn’t figure out what the rules should be, so we sued each other by the tens of millions. And for tens of millions of Americans, how they did in these sex-based litigation procedures was the principal determinant of their financial well-being. Look at Andrea Constand, for example. https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3706225/andrea-constand-ex-basketball-player-at-the-centre-of-the-bill-cosby-sexual-assault-mistrial/ does not mention a career (though it suggests she may work as a massage therapist). It seems reasonable to infer that the bulk of her lifetime earnings would flow from litigation arising from her sexual contact with Cosby. (This would include direct earnings, e.g., from civil lawsuit settlements or judgments, and indirect earnings such as for writing or TV appearances.)

  12. bobbybobbob

    June 19, 2017 @ 2:58 am

    12

    > I think this shows that the legal system is not well-suited to the challenge presented.

    http://www.rooshv.com/how-to-stop-rape

  13. MVI5

    June 19, 2017 @ 5:46 pm

    13

    Perhaps after the entire social order collapses and is rebuilt this will be the listing in a college course catalog:
    “We moved from monogamy to polygamy and couldn’t figure out what the rules should be, so we sued each other by the tens of millions. And for tens of millions of Americans, how they did in these sex-based litigation procedures was the principal determinant of their financial well-being.”

    Are you ever concerned though that you spend time thinking about how the modern US views partnership and eventually people will just read a few sentence summary, think that these years were a bit misguided, otherwise forget about all of it?

  14. philg

    June 19, 2017 @ 6:34 pm

    14

    MVI5: “Are you ever concerned though that you spend time thinking about how the modern US views partnership and eventually people will just read a few sentence summary, think that these years were a bit misguided, otherwise forget about all of it?”

    Definitely not! As a writer I am happy if even one person reads something, learns from it, and changes his or her behavior. I’ve already gotten stacks of emails and phone calls from people who say that reading Real World Divorce and/or this weblog has changed their outlook, understanding, and behavior. I don’t have Hillary Clinton- or Al Gore-style plans to change the world. My goal is to help people who invest to time to read what I’ve written.

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