Why not admit it? I want President Trump to pardon Bill Cosby.
And, yes, I’m aware of all the rapacious evil I’m abetting and the glorious victory over those forces I’m seeking to annul. And I still want Trump to pardon Cosby.
Others who assume their aspirations regarding Mr. Cosby are identical to mine are now quite excited over achieving a new trial for Cosby on appeal, because the judge allowed women who claim to have been Cosby victims (but too long ago to be participants in last week’s trial) to take the stand and testify to their experiences, which turned out to be overwhelmingly similar to those of the plaintiff. Thank you, but although those Cosby sympathizers and I yearn for the same outcome, I want to arrive there via a totally different delivery system.
All my life I have read about cases where a high-profile figure who clearly deserves jail time has had that bullet knocked away by authorities, on grounds that “We feel that being forced to resign his position and return the money amply serves the needs of justice in this case.” And neither is that an acceptable form of “Welcome Back!” to Bill Cosby.
You’ve likely already nailed me as someone who not only wants the unattainable, but is very picky about it! Nolo contendere!
Still others who would not like to see anything close to a 30-year prison term for Mr. Cosby point out that Bill Cosby is 80 years old. If any aid-and-comfort could rub off on Mr. Cosby by virtue of his advanced age, that might be explored, but I want a different kind of enchilada, and I want the whole thing.
In our insistence on achieving justice we carefully search the relevant territory and assemble the fallen chips, which we then scrutinize to ascertain whether each one – each circumstance – is aggravating or mitigating. Up to now virtually all the “chips” are judged by the media to be aggravating. Would you agree to examine some mitigating circumstances in Cosby’s case? Rape, sexual assault and harassment cover a horizon-ful of differing possibilities. May we agree that a cocktail snack of special pills on a comfortable couch can amount to rape if the subject doesn’t consent? Being accosted by a sweaty, knife-wielding stranger in a freight elevator is also rape. Would you assign equal horror to both alternatives?
Oh, dear me! I sense many of you don’t like the way this is going. I don’t think the two are equally horrendous at all. If, God forbid, any female relative of mine had to be subjected to one or the other, I’d throw myself on the floor in prayer that it be the former and not the latter. Would you please quit jumping up and down at your victory rally long enough to affirm my observation that, as far as we know, Mr. Cosby, in his totally uncalled-for escapades, did not resort to violence? Unlike a recent president convincingly accused of rape by Juanita Broaddrick, Cosby never had to punctuate that encounter by pointing to a huge red welt on her lip and saying, on his way out of the hotel room, “You’d better put some ice on that!”
I say “Shame upon you!” if you fail to fight the assertion that the-stranger-with-a-knife is no more horrible than pills and a couch.
Bill Cosby’s entire life up to these criminal adventures with women is one huge mitigating circumstance. Bill Cosby’s contribution to the betterment of America is unique. Please don’t tumble into that common error of calling somebody or something “rather unique” or “kind of unique.” “Unique” is an absolute, and calling Cosby unique means there’s no one like him, past or present. Cosby mobilized the healing power of television to deflect rising tension between the two major races, and his life and work gave rise, oddly enough, to good solid moral messages whose penetrating power dwarfs those of any sermon in any church, synagogue or ashram.
Bill Cosby’s uniqueness in his contribution to us calls for unique treatment from us. But should we therefore annul his conviction and apologize to him? Certainly not!
In return for no jail time, Cosby will agree to speaking engagements before appropriate audiences of young people. He will reach those audiences with a strong message on building a life that’s praiseworthy and stays praiseworthy lest it all come crashing down on them as it did on him!
Once, comedian Sam Levenson was in a radio debate with an apologist for one of those countries where they name a street after you one day and chase you down it the next. The defender of that wretched third-world dictatorship was getting battered by an indignant Levenson, who said, “Don’t they have the right to a speedy trial? Don’t they have the right to face their accuser? How could somebody be arrested just for writing a letter to the editor?”
“Mr. Levenson,” pleaded the embattled opponent, “you’re speaking the language of democracy. They don’t know anything about democracy. There’s no tradition of democracy there.”
“Oh?” said Sam Levenson. “There’s no tradition of democracy there? Well, start one!”
You say there’s no tradition for treating American wrongdoers uniquely?
Then start one!