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Non-Denial Denial of the Day

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Shorter Bill Cosby’s legal representatives: “This is just a he said/she said/she said/she said/she said/she said/she said/she said/she said/she said/she said/she said/she said/she said case. We will create the impression that we are denying the charges without actually doing so.”

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  • efgoldman

    Shorter shorter: “I never did, and if I did they wanted it.”

  • Jewish Steel

    “The fact that they are being repeated does not make them true.”

    Glorious.

  • Jamal Robinson

    so you’re saying that whenever a black man is accused of rape they are automatically guilty? In the Tallahassee thread you were ripping them for going easy on blacks. There are lots of black men sitting in prison because they were convicted of rapes that never happened.

    • efgoldman

      In the Tallahassee thread you were ripping them for going easy on blacks.

      Not true. Going easy on *football players* of any hue. Read it again.
      In fact, I suggested just the opposite – that blacks who weren’t football players probably (I don’t know – I’ve never been there) did not get favorable, and maybe not even equal, treatment.

      • efgoldman

        And of course rich and/or famous people, regardless of race, religion, or ethnicity, get away with things that ordinary mortals can’t, because they can afford the big name, connected lawyers and publicists.

      • Jamal Robinson

        The football team is almost all black. Why is Scott Lemieux spending so much time posting about all the crimes that blacks get away with? Why no posts about blacks in prison for rapes that never happened? Why no posts about whites getting away with crimes?

        • jim, some guy in iowa

          you must not have been around for the posts and subsequent lengthy comment threads regarding dylan farrow’s accusation of woody allen

          or, for that matter, roman polanski

        • Would you like some pancakes?

          • efgoldman

            Sorry; I fell for it. I’ve been here long enough, I should have known better.

            • Manny Kant

              To be fair, this is only moderately exaggerated from what Throttle Jockey and GoDeep were arguing in all seriousness in the earlier Cosby thread.

    • Hi Jennie. Thanks for playing.

      • postmodulator

        Can’t you see him sitting there trying to think of a black sounding name? “Hmmm…Jamal, maybe? Or do they spell it Jamaal?”

        • Oh totally. It was the name that first got me suspicious.

        • Halloween Jack

          You’d think that he wouldn’t have gone for the first name of one of the actors on Cosby’s most popular show.

      • KmCO

        Okay, back before comment registration I can understand posting comment after trollish comment, shifting nyms for the sheer hell of it, and generally delighting in wreaking havoc among the regular commentariat. Yeah, it must have taken up a pathetic percentage of this person’s waking hours, but people are strange beasts with numerous self-defeating habits. But going through all the hoops and trouble to keep trying to break in after comment registration? Who the fuck does that? I’m quite curious (abnormal psychology is fascinating after all)–does anyone know anything about the fucker behind all the “Jennie” personas?

        I am quite amused to see the name choice this time, as others pointed out already. Didn’t it choose a distinctly “Jewish”-sounding name in a recent I/P thread as well?

        • I don’t think anyone knows anything except that this is truly a deeply disturbed and pathetic individual.

        • Murc

          Jennie is either an incredibly good troll or an incredibly bad person.

          If they are indeed a troll, they’re a true master of the craft. If not, they need some help.

          • weirdnoise

            There are no “good” trolls. I will admit, however, that some are more effective than others. But, really, a bully is a bully, full stop.

            I’m not sure if J. is even in the effective category. Persistent, perhaps even obsessive and thus pathetic, but effective? Naw…

            • postmodulator

              I think it was Salon that ran that thing, earlier this year: some psychology department interviewed a bunch of self-identified trolls, and they turned out to all be narcissists and sociopaths.

              Which, not shocking, I guess.

              • How many were elected officials?

                • postmodulator

                  “But I repeat myself.”

            • nixnutz

              I don’t really agree with that, at least back in the early usenet days it could be pretty hilarious, but it’s certainly a tradition that has been seriously degraded. I used to read some dsp programming listserv that antiorp posted to regularly and that was one of my favorite things that’s ever happened on the internet.

              It is true that 99% of trolls nowadays are trying to be disruptive more than funny or creative but I still think it’s a valid form, in theory.

              • postmodulator

                See, the flip side of that is, my introduction to trolling was that I sort of knew some of the Encylopedia Dramatica people. So when I hear “trolling” I think of mocking posts on the Facebook page of a teenager who’s killed himself.

                • Aimai

                  I’ve sometimes met some contrarians–I’d put Manju in that category–online and they can be educational and tedious at the same time, because their shtick gets old but can have nuggets of wisdom sometimes. But trolling? I have never met the “valid form” of trolling. Its almost always extremely destructive and hurtful and deliberately so.

                • Lee Rudolph

                  I have never met the “valid form” of trolling. Its almost always extremely destructive and hurtful and deliberately so.

                  Well, as nixnutz said,

                  at least back in the early usenet days it could be pretty hilarious

                  and never more so than when practiced in alt.folklore.urban by snopes (who has since gone all legit and everything). His “Canada is a pathetic pie” performance was legendary. I suppose it might have been hurtful to some of those who rushed in where angels would have known better.

                • The Temporary Name

                  See ketchup.

                • Origami Isopod

                  I’ve heard of a few people who’ve trolled St0rmfr0nt. I’m cool with that. Also with Anonymous trolling the Klan.

    • Brett

      Oh FFS. You realize you can walk and chew bubble gum at the same time, right? We can talk about unfair judicial practices and racism while also pointing out that it’s very likely that Bill Cosby is a serial rapist, considering the sheer frequency of accounts and other evidence.

  • shah8

    Man, this blog really has gone off the rails if Jenny says something I agree with.

    • If you find yourself agreeing with JenBob, perhaps you should be examining yourself.

      • shah8

        Well, yes.

        I haven’t been commenting about it because this is all sorts of fucked up, and you all aren’t going to hear it from me or any other black person.

        Plus, Bill Cosby can eat shit and die, let GoDeep and ThrottleJockey do all the clumsy work they do.

        In any event, this has been a deeply problematic discussion, and I’m just going to wait until voices you can’t ignore smack the bunch of you (presuming continuance of doubling down) silly-heads.

        • McAllen

          I admit I really don’t understand. I have no doubt that black men are falsely accused of rape more than white men, and white people are quicker to believe accusations against them than those against white men, but:

          1) In general rape accusation aren’t taken as seriously as they should be, so I think the solution is to take accusations against white men more seriously rather than taking accusations against black men less seriously.

          2) It’s not like this blog has shied away from accusations against white men.

          • witlesschum

            And, y’know, he’s Bill Cosby!

            If anyone’s TV persona gives them protection against racism, it’s him. He was like America’s kindly dad to everyone who was a kid when the Cosby Show was on. I’m sure if you polled dimwit racists for an example of “one of the good ones” he’d do pretty well, along with Colin Powell and whomever the GOP’s latest “See we’re not racist, we like _______” black conservative is.

            The idea that LGM or the mainstream media or whoever is willing to go after Cosby because he’s black seems pretty far-fetched to me.

            • GoDeep

              Really, you have no idea how racism works if you think being famous means you’re no longer black. That’s just clueless.

              • Hogan

                It’s not just being famous–it’s what you’re famous for. What do you think Bill Cosby is famous for?

              • Aimai

                How does “racism work” and what does that mean? I’m really curious. There are many racists and many racisms in this society–many histories and many shades of relationships. Do they all “work” the same way? Must they all “work” the same way? What does that mean? In my experience, speaking anthropologically, people often get moved out of one category and into another. The Japanese were treated as “honorary whites” in South Africa. Women have been treated as “honorary men” in some situations and men have been treated as “honorary women” in others. Those situations tend to reify or reinforce the original divisions, of course. To say that Cosby, because of his fame, is now being treated as an “honorary white” doesn’t mean that racism has ceased to exist–just that some things (in this case male privilige) is so important to people like Limbaugh (for example) or Cosby’s handlers/agents that it trumps ordinary anti-black racism. Just as, for you, your ideas about the vulnerability of black males to white prejudice causes you to side with rapists against the black women who they are accused of raping.

                • GoDeep

                  “Honorary white” is that in a anthro book someplace? If so I wanna see it. Sammy Davis, Jr wasn’t even in that club. BO is actually half white & he ain’t even in that club!

                  I don’t side w/ rapists against black women. That’s a baseless & bullshit accusation.

                • Malaclypse

                  “Honorary white” is that in a anthro book someplace? If so I wanna see it.

                  Here you go.

                • GoDeep

                  I meant in this country! I know abt it in other countries!

          • GoDeep

            That’s a non-sequitur. If black men are more frequently falsely accused of rape then the answer is to be more cautious of the allegations, or at least neutral. A substantial segment of the local commentariat feels that anyone accused of rape is guilty, completely ignoring the racialized history of such accusations in this country.

            • brad

              Except that the example of Woody Allen shows that presumption here isn’t based on race.
              And you’re placing all the weight on Cosby’s skin color, and zero on the actual, publicly attested, facts of the case to the degree that you seem to be disappearing the victims from your view of this. That seems… problematic on its own merits.
              I was wrong at 16, but today yet another spoke up. That makes 14. How many does it take before you’ll start to weigh their voices?

            • DrS

              When Hannibal Buress started making jokes about this recently, which is where I think we can trace the recent interest to, was he motivated by racism?

        • Scott Lemieux

          In any event, this has been a deeply problematic discussion, and I’m just going to wait until voices you can’t ignore smack the bunch of you (presuming continuance of doubling down) silly-heads.

          It would be harder to ignore you if you ever bothered to actually make an argument rather than preemptively announcing that you’re too good for the argument but take your word for it everyone is wrong.

        • In any event, this has been a deeply problematic discussion,

          I thought “problematic” was verboten!

          (Actually, I sympathize with the sentiment that “problematic” is a bit bloodless, but anyway.)

          In so far as it raised awareness of wrongful convictions (both in general and specifically) with a variety of causes, it seems like a good thing. It prompted me to browse the Innocence Project profiles. It’s good to witness these things. While I don’t agree with ThrottleJockey’s and GoDeep’s particular line in that thread, the general point that one should keep aware of the deep problems of the US criminal justice system (esp. its racism) is an excellent one and well taken.

          • Manny Kant

            But I don’t see how any of that has anything to do with the Cosby case. Cosby is not even being investigated by the criminal justice system!

            • Ronan

              yes, i really cant make heads or tails of the argument at this stage. It seems to be implying ‘because black men have been falsly accused of rape, all black men are falsly accused of rape.’ It’s as if the context doesnt matter at all.
              The Cosby case *is quite clearly NOT* a case of someone railroaded through the criminal justice system due to a dodgy accusation and public hysteria. Quite the opposite in fact.

              • Ronan

                i dont want to use ‘identity politics’ as an ad hominen..but I will. It’s identity politics run wild.

            • Well, the problems of how society conceptualizes the relationship between blacks (esp men) and criminality affect far more than those currently entangled with the criminal justice system per se. It has a pervasiveness akin to rape culture.

              Plus, do I need a good reason to try to understand things better?

              • Manny Kant

                Well, sure. But saying that this particular case is a good time to learn about it seems, to me, to be going much too far in giving credence to some really terrible arguments.

        • GoDeep

          Did you feel that way abt Cosby b4 the rape accusations? Is this abt his stance on ebonics & personal responsibility, just abt the rape accusations, or abt both?

    • McAllen

      Sure, it’s the blog that’s gone off the rails.

      • This website appears to be a time machine. I posted my comment after yours.

        • McAllen

          Not only that, but according to the time-stamp you replied to my comment before I made it. Definitely some temporal nonsense going on.

      • KmCO

        +1

    • KmCO

      Because Jennie was definitely sincere in his attempt at defending black men.

    • Like Jenny has principles other than trolling.

      • But it gives shah8 gets a chance to flex their “lefter than thou” credentials, by siding with a known racist. Or something.

    • brad

      It’s so hard not to respond with snark. This Cosby cluster of posts very, very clearly relate to the Woody Allen and Roman Polanski cluster, not to mention Savile. The only POC I can think of on the list besides Cosby is Ghomeshi. In Allen’s case I think there is an unfortunate presumption of guilt, which is not a defense of him as a person at all, but the point is if this blog is “obsessed” with anything it’s that these are bellwether cases which show how much rape remains ingrained into culture, a horrific privilege to be taken by those afforded it.
      As for Cosby, there is a presumption of guilt in the comments here, but innocent until proven guilty is a concept for the court of law, not public opinion. 16 accusers, black and white, over a number of years is very strong reason to see a pattern, and not as a series of unfortunate coincidences for the ‘poor man’.

      • Brien Jackson

        I think as a general rule we should be at least a bit more skeptical of accusations involving famous people because, unlike in the VAST majority of cases of alleged rape, there’s an obvious motive to fabricate allegations as a means of shaking them down for money.* In the Cosby case though, the sheer number of victims, many of whom don’t have any financial incentives, makes it highly unlikely that he’s not guilty.

        *And to be clear, this should be taken as a claim that women are lying, gold-digging, bitches. Men have been doing terrible things to other people in an attempt to exploit them for personal financial gain pretty much since the dawn of civilization, after all.

        • postmodulator

          *And to be clear, this should be taken as a claim that women are lying, gold-digging, bitches.

          I’m reasonably certain you forgot a word.

          But yes, there have been occasional demonstrably false accusations of rape against celebrities that were clearly financial shakedowns. It wasn’t widely discussed, but there was one against Chris Rock about ten or fifteen years ago.

          I think there have still been more celebrity rapists, though.

          • Brien Jackson

            Oh, no doubt. I’d wager that at worst the number of false accusations against famous people is only marginally higher than the overall rate. But of course you can’t infer from the general to the specific, and I’m just saying that I don’t disagree, in principle, that we ought to be more…delicate, for lack of a better work, about cases involving celebrities who depend upon their public image than “generic” cases.
            And in the particular case, that this has absolutely nothing to do with Cosby’s case.

        • Salem

          False accusations against famous people don’t necessarily come out of a financial motivation; it can also be by attention-seekers, stalkers, the mentally troubled, etc. So you’re right that these allegations are less credible in such cases.

          On the other hand, this can also be used as a weapon by famous people to defend predatory behaviour. They can successfully lever this fear to paint their accusers as unstable attention-seekers and so avoid scrutiny.

          The key – and it is the same whether the accuser/d is rich and famous or poor and obscure – is that accusations are taken seriously, thoroughly investigated, and the decisions based on properly established facts, not the identity, race, or fame of the accuser or accused.

          • Manny Kant

            Not a rape case, but I still remember how disgusting it was when Clinton’s people tried to imply that Monica Lewinsky was a mentally troubled fabulist who was obsessed with Clinton. Allowing that to happen was by far the most unforgivable thing Clinton did in that whole mess.

        • Is the increased motive counterbalanced by the increased resource and power differential available to the celebrity? I mean we can run this about corporations as well.

          Is there any social science about this? Are celebrities even more likely to have stalkers?

          • Brien Jackson

            “Is the increased motive counterbalanced by the increased resource and power differential available to the celebrity? I mean we can run this about corporations as well.”

            I’m not sure, but keep in mind that a big part of that power differential is the ability to pay to keep the problem quiet.

            • Sure. But…I mean, I’m not sure how you think I should adjust my judgements in light of this esp in a way that doesn’t lead to exactly the problem you try to guard against esp absent some evidence of different in prevalence of false accusations due to this targeting behavior.

              • Brien Jackson

                I…don’t, I guess. I suppose it’s a concession to the idea that we shouldn’t assume allegations are true just because they exist and no matter how scant the actual corroborating evidence, but then a) I don’t think anyone here is actually doing this, no matter what ThrottleJockey may be reading, and b) the closest the Blog Borg has come to doing that was the Woody Allen case.

                • Manny Kant

                  Yeah, I mean, I don’t see how one could accuse Scott (or the Blog Borg) of racism over this when he/they/we were also willing to condemn Woody Allen on the basis of much more equivocal evidence.

          • postmodulator

            Are celebrities even more likely to have stalkers?

            On that specific point, I’d have to say yes. I knew a guy years ago who was a minor on-air personality at a local TV station. He said that anyone who’d been on TV more than a couple of times had a stalker.

            I know a guy who had some very modest success on the local music scene, and he had a stalker.

            I used to be acquainted with a computer programmer who was famous…to other computer programmers, and he had a stalker.

            So while violent stalkers seem to be a very small minority, run-of-the-mill celebrity stalkers are as common as dirt.

            • I looked up some stats about stalkers a while back for another discussion and I don’t think they broke out celebrities vs. non-celebrities.

              On Wikipedia, the reported rates (by country) range from 8%-23% (! what’s up with Austrailia) of the general population. 8% in the US.

              (Women are stalked more often, but I’m not sure what that means for your sample.)

              I’m certainly prepared to believe that they have more stalkers (and certainly 100% way more intrusive strangers), but it’d be nice to have data (which I’m sure is missing…damn hard to gather).

              • Ronan

                in the case of australia it might just be a different legal definition of stalking than the US, which makes cases more prosecutable.

            • Ok! I found something:

              4 The vast majority of the subjects in all the studies listed, except for Fein and Vossekuil (12), pursued private targets. For instance, in the Palarea et al. study (7), the authors note that only 19% of the LAPD Threat Management Unit’s entire database (N ≈ 341) involved celebrity stalking by strangers, despite the fact that this jurisdiction would likely have the highest incidence of public figure stalking cases, particularly celebrities.

              It’s a footnote and I could pursue the cited study, but I’m running out of train time :)

              (This doesn’t give us the *percentage* of celebs that are stalked vs. non-stalked, of course. Since celebs are no where near (I’d guess!) 19% of the population, this would, in fact, be disproportionate. So this probably supports your contention. I.e., If celeb, then likely stalked can be true while If stalked, then likely celeb is false.)

              • postmodulator

                And also, most stalkers are harmless. But sorting out the ones that aren’t harmless is a toughie.

                As another point of anecdata, I have another friend who worked for years as an. Um. An adult entertainer. She regularly got batshit insane letters from some schizophrenic who had seen her once. In the event, all he ever did was send the letters, but we were all worried that things could have gotten far worse. (Not hyperbole, some of the letters he sent were while he was institutionalized.)

                • From what I v quickly read, violence is less common as a result of threatening letters to celebrities, fwiw.

        • nixnutz

          Sure, I’m willing to go with that. Say that in general 98% of accusations are true, then it would follow that there’s a 0.00000000000000000000016384% chance that Cosby’s entirely innocent. If we assume a very high percentage of celebrity accusations are false, say 30% which seems crazy to me, then there’s a 0.000004782969% chance he’s innocent, I’m willing to give that distinction all the respect it deserves.

          • Aimai

            Plus you have to ask yourself whether the addition of multiple women, each without any personal connection to the other or any history of attention seeking/celebrity stalking behavior and each with a documented relationship with Cosby can all be making it up. This is the same thing that happened with Bob Filner by the way–in the end the sheer number and variety of his accusers made it impossible to pretend that this was some accident of his power and celebrity creating false accusations.

  • heckblazer

    I’d just like to mention that the most recent episode of the cartoon Black Dynamite featured Bill Cosby as the villain…and he’s defeated by Moms Mabley.

    • John Revolta

      Moms Mabley? Wow! How recent was this episode?

      • She died, what, 40 years ago?

      • heckblazer

        It’s a Blaxploitation parody set in the 1970s.

        • John Revolta

          Ah yes. The Google makes all things known.

          Looks pretty funny. I gotta get me one of those television boxes sometime.

          • heckblazer

            I enjoy it. The live action movie that inspired it is also worth checking out, and includes Black Dynamite kung fu fighting Richard Nixon.

            • postmodulator

              I would strike “worth checking out” and replace it with “magnificent.” I haven’t seen the cartoon, yet, though.

  • Breadbaker

    If you’re claiming an allegation is “discredited”, you’re commenting on it, and opening up the entire question of whether it was in fact discredited or simply ignored because of the relative power of the accuser and accused. Thus, the claim they would not comment is belied by their very response.

  • LeeEsq

    From a legal perspective, not saying anything about the accusations makes perfect sense for Cosby regardless of how accurate or inaccurate they are. The outrage is understandable but Cosby is acting as a prudent person should under the circumstances.

    • Aimai

      Sure. No one doubts that. A prudent person–innocent or guilty–should absolutely avoid getting into a war of words and innuendo in public. One is just observing that if the oress font slide back into complicity and complaisance that the public sphere is going to become difficult for cosby. Thats cold comfort to his victims but its something.

      • witlesschum

        oress font slide

        Aimai, you have the best typos.

        • mds

          With the last seal breached, the door to the Oress temple lay open. Warily, Grit Carson and Neddie advanced towards the chancel. There indeed was the huge, ornately-wrought font, just as the ancient Oress texts had described it, its mysterious contents steaming slightly. As he drew near, Carson uncapped the sample tube and readied the pipette. “Now we’ll see if this stuff really can deliver on its promise,” Carson thought. Gingerly, he extended the pipette towards the dark baptismal fluids—

          “Wheeeeeeeeee!”

          *SPLASH*

          “Damnit,” Carson seethed, as the onyx threat horns began their ululation. “Why didn’t I warn Neddie not to use the Oress font slide?”

          • Aimai

            YOu know what? I do have the best autocorrect because, god damn it, when I come back to read the thread even I find myself falling down in hysterical laughter. MDS: I would like to subscribe to your cheap penny novelette. Points for ululation.

          • Origami Isopod

            Were they rescued by the county serif?

            • Hogan

              Oh you.

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