Most Used Tips On How To Choose The Best Steak

The steak. Almost a staple in our diets. However, not all steaks are created equal, there are those delicious steaks, and then there are the godly tasting steaks. Knowing the subtle differences can me...

News Company - avatar News Company

3 Tips for Improving Your Physical Fitness, When You're Starting from a Pretty Bad Place

Fitness is one of the most important things in life for overall health and wellness – and maintaining a regular fitness routine has all sorts of potential benefits, ranging from better medical outco...

News Company - avatar News Company

Top 5 Events to Enjoy in the United Kingdom Every Year

The United Kingdom as any country holds numerous engaging festivals throughout the year. What makes the UK offer to stand out from the rest is their exciting travel landmarks and cities that nearly ...

Goran Kezić - avatar Goran Kezić

Friday essay: YouTube apologies and reality TV revelations - the rise of the public confession

A little over a year ago, former Australian cricket captain Steve Smith made a tearful confession and apology to the public, having been banned from cricket for 12 months for ball tampering. Smith&rsq...

Kate Douglas, Professor, Flinders University - avatar Kate Douglas, Professor, Flinders University

Population DNA testing for disease risk is coming. Here are five things to know

Screening millions of healthy people for their risk of disease can be cost-effective. But it raises ethical and regulatory concerns.from www.shutterstock.comDNA testing to predict disease risk has the...

Paul Lacaze, Head, Public Health Genomics Program, Monash University - avatar Paul Lacaze, Head, Public Health Genomics Program, Monash University

Why Sydney residents use 30% more water per day than Melburnians

Melbourne's water supplies are running low after years of drought.shutterstockThis week Melbourne’s water storage dropped below 50%, a sign of the prolonged and deepening drought gripping easter...

Ian Wright, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Science, Western Sydney University - avatar Ian Wright, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Science, Western Sydney University

From gun control to HIV: six ingredients of successful public policy

Australia’s national policy response to HIV/AIDS has been lauded as one of the best in the world.ShutterstockIn the lead up to the recent federal election, there was plenty of negative rhetoric ...

Joannah Luetjens, PhD Candidate, Utrecht University - avatar Joannah Luetjens, PhD Candidate, Utrecht University

How the dangerous evolution of Pakistan’s national security state threatens domestic stability

Protests followed the terrorist attack that killed more than 40 Indian military personnel in the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir. AAP/Jaipal Singh, CC BY-NDIn February, a terrorist attack by Jaysh...

Robert G. Patman, Professor of International Relations, University of Otago - avatar Robert G. Patman, Professor of International Relations, University of Otago

Taming wild cities: the tall buildings of Australia show why we need strong design guidelines

Towering canyons of concrete and glass are an increasingly dominant feature of fast-growing cities like Melbourne.ymgerman/ShutterstockPrivate enterprise has shaped the skylines of Australia’s c...

Timothy Moore, PhD Candidate, Melbourne School of Design, Monash University - avatar Timothy Moore, PhD Candidate, Melbourne School of Design, Monash University

Let them play! Kids need freedom from play restrictions to develop

Playing in nature improves children's learning, social and emotional skills.MI PHAM/unsplashYou may have heard of play. It’s that thing children do – the diverse range of unstructured, spo...

Brendon Hyndman, Senior Lecturer and Course Director (Postgraduate Education courses), Charles Sturt University - avatar Brendon Hyndman, Senior Lecturer and Course Director (Postgraduate Education courses), Charles Sturt University

If you think less immigration will solve Australia's problems, you're wrong; but neither will more

More by luck than design, recent recent levels of immigration seem to be in a 'goldilocks zone' that balances economic, social and environmental objectives.www.shutterstock.comAre we letting too many ...

Cameron Allen, Researcher, UNSW - avatar Cameron Allen, Researcher, UNSW

Gamers use machine learning to navigate complex video games – but it's not free

Playing Dota 2? You can do better with a little help from machine learning.Shutterstock/hkhtt hj Some of the world’s most popular video games track your activity as you play – but they&rsq...

Ben Egliston, PhD candidate in Media and Communications, University of Sydney - avatar Ben Egliston, PhD candidate in Media and Communications, University of Sydney

Grattan on Friday: Shocked Labor moves on – but to what policy destination?

Bill Shorten has said he likes doing the family shopping, nevertheless Tuesday’s front page picture in The Australian did capture the savagery of changing political fortunes. There was Shorten, ...

Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra - avatar Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

Narendra Modi has won the largest election in the world. What will this mean for India?

Narendra Modi's image was ubiquitous on the campaign trail – a sign of how much Indians have gravitated toward his cult of personality and nationalist rhetoric.Harish Tyagi/AAP The resounding vi...

Amitabh Mattoo, Honorary Professor of International Relations, University of Melbourne - avatar Amitabh Mattoo, Honorary Professor of International Relations, University of Melbourne

In the awful narrative around the allegations of sexual assault and rape made against iconic American entertainer Bill Cosby, a major theme has been the perceived failure of the media to challenge him on his alleged crimes over the 40 years the offences were claimed to have taken place.

In a revealing article in the New York Times, journalist David Carr writes of his own interview with Cosby in 2011. Admitting that he knew about the allegations of drugging women and sexual assaults, Carr states that he looked away when he accepted the job, knowing that he should have instead refused it: “My job as a journalist was to turn down that assignment,” he wrote. In doing the interview and not confronting Cosby, Carr felt that he, among others, was “letting down the women who were brave enough to speak out publicly against a powerful entertainer”. 

Another journalist, Ta-Nahesi Coates, wrote about the time he spent in 2006-7 following Cosby around the US while the comedian addressed the state of morality in black America. In the article that resulted from the research, Coates stated that though he made a "brief and limp mention of the accusations against Cosby … There was no opinion offered on the rape accusations". This despite, as he admitted, "I believed that Bill Cosby was a rapist."

That these two men admit contrition for omission is something to be applauded – but is it possible that we should have a certain amount of sympathy for their actions? As Coates says, lacking physical evidence, adjudicating rape accusations is a murky business for journalists. 

Let us not underestimate the power of Cosby, too. We should not forget that he was probably without equal in terms of the status he occupied. As head of the Huxtable family in the phenomenally successful Cosby Show, which ran from 1984 to 1992, Cosby was instrumental in the portrayal of a successful black family whose comedic highs and lows were not reliant upon stereotype and prejudice. For Carr, the prestige of Cosby was such that he was "never just an entertainer, but a signal tower of moral rectitude".

If Carr had broached the subject of his alleged crimes there is no doubt that his time with Cosby would have ended and would have found himself at the mercy of his “ferocious lawyers and stalwart enablers”.

The threat of legal action is very real for those in the mainstream media and remember this very crucial point: in the eyes of the law Cosby is innocent. He has not been charged, let alone convicted for sexual crimes or otherwise.

Remember too that journalists exist within society and not apart from it. We might expect a reporter charged with interviewing Cosby to bring up the allegations, but would we, in a similar situation, risk the threat of interview termination, legal action, career meltdown and the wrath of an editor without a story who has sent us to interview the world’s most famous entertainer?

To be clear, I request a little understanding of the constraints under which journalists operate and not to excuse the behaviour of the mainstream media. In general I agree with the view of Bill Wyman who wrote in the Columbian Journalism Review that traditional media culture tends to venerate celebrity to the degree that “the narrative of the star is so powerful that digressions that clash with it are discarded.”

That said, the admissions of these two journalists should not lead to the belief that the media ignored the claims around Cosby, either. As Tom Stocca illustrates, in 2005 a woman who claimed she was drugged and raped by Cosby was interviewed on the NBC Today programme The same year, FOX News reported Beth Ferrier came forward to allege Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her, months after she ended a consensual affair with him. In 2006, People Magazine ran the Cosby under Fire story, concerned with Andrea Constand who claimed Cosby had drugged and sexually assaulted her in his Pennsylvania mansion in 2004.

That the scandal has regained currency now is largely due to the comments of US stand-up Hannibal Buress, who on stage in Cosby’s hometown of Philadelphia last month said:

Bill Cosby has the fuckin’ smuggest old black man public persona that I hate … He gets on TV, ‘Pull your pants up black people, I was on TV in the 80s! I can talk down to you because I had a successful sitcom!’ Yeah, but you rape women, Bill Cosby, so turn the crazy down a couple notches.

News of the routine spread within hours and it has now been viewed more than 91,000 times on YouTube

These events demonstrate the power of social media to spread old news to new audiences. Politico journalists Anna Palmer and Darren Samuelsohn argue that part of the reason the past does well on social media is because users tend to be younger and not familiar with the first cycle of a particular story. It is also a useful forum for the outraged and previously unheard to voice their discontent. In this sense, behaviour which was once considered socially unremarkable can now be "held to current moral standards".

It is highly unlikely that Cosby will face criminal charges now. What is becoming increasingly apparent though is that this fresh controversy has killed Cosby’s career and demolished his reputation. Sensitive to the furore and conscious of public mood, NBC has cancelled the development of his new project. Netflix has postponed a broadcast of his live show and Viacom’s cable and satellite station, TV land, has stopped repeating the Cosby show in the week it was due to have been part of a Thanksgiving sitcom marathon.

What’s the upshot of all this? Bringing down Cosby – something the mainstream media couldn’t manage in decades – took the internet just over a week. And that, surely, is of great importance.

image

John Jewell does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.

Read more http://theconversation.com/bill-cosbys-downfall-was-a-display-of-social-media-power-34776