As difficult as it might be, for a few minutes, let’s disregard the critical question of whether Bill Cosby is guilty of rape or not.
Instead, let’s focus on the public reaction to the blooming scandal, as expressed both through traditional media and social media. What’s particularly fascinating about the current outrage is that Cosby’s name was linked to date-rape allegations nearly a decade ago—and back then, barely anyone batted an eyelash. One accuser went on the Today Show in 2005 to tell her story of allegedly being drugged and sexually assaulted by Cosby in the 1970s. People Magazine dug into similar accusations in 2006, soon after Cosby had reached a financial settlement with a Philadelphia-area woman who’d claimed that she’d been drugged and sexually assaulted by the TV icon. Thirteen other women had come forward with similar stories about Cosby, and were willing to testify if that civil case had reached a courtroom.
Months later, he was the celebrity commencement speaker at Carnegie Mellon University; in 2009, he was honored with the the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor by the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. READ FULL STORY