But it is even more jarring in the context of late-stage Cosby, the moral scold, the comedian turned societal heckler who launched that career by literally defending the police shooting of presumably unarmed black men. In a 2004 screed that came to be known as the “pound cake” speech, he said,
People getting shot in the back of the head over a piece of pound cake! Then we all run out and are outraged: “The cops shouldn’t have shot him.” What the hell was he doing with the pound cake in his hand? I wanted a piece of pound cake just as bad as anybody else. And I looked at it and I had no money. And something called parenting said, “If you get caught with it, you’re going to embarrass your mother.” Not “You’re going to get your butt kicked.” No. “You’re going to embarrass your mother.”
It is difficult to find adjectives equal to the scale of Cosby’s hypocrisy.
.. Cosby’s appeal lay in his representation of a particular node of racial progress.
.. A young Richard Pryor bristled at the anodyne swath of culture that Cosby occupied in the sixties and the pressures it placed on other comedians, particularly black ones, to create humor that soothed the racial anxieties of a white audience.
.. Cosby served as a brief for a particular kind of racial equality. The indignation on Tuesday stemmed from his presumption that, in America, equality means equal impunity.
.. Clarence Thomas referred to the 1991 Senate inquiry into his own history of sexual harassment as a “high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves.”
.. This is the rhetoric of men whose definition of victimhood is the inability to victimize others.
.. If Kavanaugh ascends to the Supreme Court without a formal investigation into the accusations made against him (all of which he has denied), it will be, in part, because a black man established a model for how best to present oneself as a victim in public. This is a form of interracial unity that the country could do without.
.. Cosby and Kavanaugh are twin exemplars of a kind of amoral amnesty. It is granted to men of great talent and wealth and to those born to men who possess either talent or wealth.
.. Cosby’s poverty-hectoring tours and the book “Come On, People: On the Path from Victims to Victors” is the corrosive effect of irresponsibility.
.. He inflicted this trauma at least sixty times over.
.. There is no accounting for the mechanisms of deflection or rationalization that allowed him to behave in this way while simultaneously denouncing others for far smaller concerns, like what they choose to name their children.
He might not ever do what he has demanded of so many others—take responsibility—but he can no longer avoid being held responsible.
I want to burn the frat house of America to the ground... I was riveted by the hearings, and Professor Hill’s testimony about how her old boss, the Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, behaved — the references to pornographic movies, to his own sexual prowess, the way he would ask her out, again and again, and not take no for an answer... It’s one thing to say #MeToo, but if I find out it’s them, too, I can picture myself hunting down the man who hurt them and dismembering him with my fingernails and burning the whole world down... When Clarence Thomas won his seat, I felt like someone had taken an eraser to the core of my being, and had rubbed a bit of me away. I felt diminished, a little less real, and, certainly, a lot less likely to be believed if I had anything to say about male colleagues... Bill Cosby was found guilty. Harvey Weinstein is going to trial. Les Moonves lost his job as chief executive of CBS, even if a CBS board member, Arnold Kopelson, said, “I don’t care if 30 more women come forward and allege this kind of stuff.”.. One by one, like bad dreams, the #MeToo men have come back from the allegations against them, having suffered — if that’s even the right word — the equivalent of a misbehaving child’s timeout.
.. Matt Lauer is swanning around Upper East Side steakhouses, reportedly assuring fans that soon he’ll be “back on TV.” Louis C.K. returned to the stage. John Hockenberry is telling his story in Harper’s Magazine, and Jian Ghomeshi is telling his in The New York Review of Books.
.. Women aren’t supposed to want revenge any more than we’re supposed to be angry. It’s not socially approved, not attractive, not ladylike. We swallow our pain and keep our own behavior exemplary while excusing the bad behavior of others, knowing, from examples like Professor Hill’s, what could happen if we speak up, and what we stand to lose.
.. There are famous novels, canonical plays, entire genres of movies centered around men seeking revenge (the “Iliad,” “Hamlet,” every western ever). There aren’t many stories about men righting their wrongs; even fewer about women making men sorry.
One day in March of 2015, Weinstein invited the model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez to his office for a morning meeting
.. To see Weinstein turn himself in on Friday at the same precinct where Gutierrez made her report, in the same neighborhood where he caused so many women anguish and pain, was simply cathartic.
.. For all the handwringing about the mob power of #MeToo, the fact is that most men who have assaulted women will not face criminal charges for doing so.
.. Weinstein had spent time hiding out in Arizona.
.. the news elicited a response similar to the “galvanizing shock” produced in April, when Bill Cosby was found guilty of three counts of sexual assault.
.. is mouth alternated between a grimace and a smirk.
.. Entering the precinct, Weinstein was a spectacle of smugness, as if trying to project the posture of an intellectual dissident.
.. In his hands were three books, two of which have been identified. They were corny totems suggesting, respectively, artistic revolution and false persecution: Todd Purdum’s “Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway Revolution,” and Richard Schickel’s biography of Elia Kazan, the Hollywood director who famously “named names” to the House Un-American Activities Committee, in 1952.
.. After he turned himself in, Weinstein was made to do a perp walk, the queasy practice meant to emasculate the suspect and flex the prosecutor’s power.
It is a public humiliation, a feast for the kinds of New York tabloids that Weinstein himself once manipulated so ruthlessly.
.. The books he walked in with had vanished. With his head hung low, Weinstein looked small, insignificant.
.. In the Manhattan Supreme Court, prosecutors charged him with two counts of rape and one count of a criminal sexual act.
.. He surrendered his passport and was released on bail
.. “Will the sight of Harvey Weinstein in handcuffs encourage more women to come forward/press charges?”
“Ailes, O’Reilly, Weinstein, Halperin were some of our culture’s key storytellers, shaping our ideas of gender, authority, power & much more,” noted Jodi Kantor, the New York Times reporter who broke the Weinstein story
.. mostly decent men of a certain age (60-plus? 50-plus? What is the generational divide here?) as they realize that the behaviors they perceived as all-in-good-fun were, in fact, only half in good fun — their own half. For decades, the women on the receiving end weren’t having any fun at all.
.. Is this a moment of #MeToo? for George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States? An actor named Heather Lind said she was “sexually assaulted” by the jolly old fellow with the fun socks, who apparently touched her butt while posing for a photo.
.. “To try to put people at ease, the president routinely tells the same joke — and on occasion, he has patted women’s rears in what he intended to be a good-natured manner,” said a spokesman for Bush on Wednesday, while noting that the former president’s wheelchair posture keeps his arms at butt-level.
.. the president asked her to guess his favorite magician, and then, as he squeezed her rear end, revealed that the answer was “David Cop-a-feel.”
.. David Cop-a-feel. Ugh. Gabby dad humor mixed with grabby sexual overtones: a cocktail whose taste many women would recognize but that many men would be shocked to learn they had been mixing and serving all along.
.. In journalism, there’s a term called “notebook dump,” the process of throwing together all your reporting — every note taken, interview conducted, scene observed.
.. The women of America are currently engaged in a notebook dump of epic proportions, releasing the anecdotes they’ve been carrying since puberty.
.. women experiencing harassment don’t particularly want to also be in charge of educating harassers.
.. “What we need to start talking about is the crisis in masculinity,” the actor Emma Thompson told the BBC.