Bill Cosby: Not Guilty, But Not Innocent

BUCK: We told you yesterday about the breaking news with Bill Cosby. I mean, it was a shock. This wasn’t breaking news that anybody was expecting — at least, not in the news world, not in the news cycle. It just happened. Bill Cosby, his conviction overturned, and no more charges from the state of Pennsylvania related. So there won’t be another trial, essentially, is what that means on the same charges. Bill Cosby’s also speaking out not really holding back. Play it.

COSBY: This is for all the people who have been imprisoned wrongfully, regardless of race, color, or creed.

BUCK: Clay, there’s a lot going on here, as we were discussing yesterday. There is, I think, a sense that the system, the system of justice we have act with honor and integrity. And so, you know, the word of a prosecutor, the word of the system, so to speak, has to be honored or else the whole thing starts to fall apart. But I know there are a lot of other folks who are watching this unfold and are saying to themselves, “Do we really…?

“Do people not believe that Bill Cosby was engaging in…? Look, let’s just put it out plainly: “Are all of the women coming out against him, all of them lying?” I think very few people believe that. So then where does this leave us? There is the justice system, and then there’s our sense of justice.

CLAY: To me, there is a difference between being not guilty and being innocent. And I think a lot of people conflate those two. But from a legal perspective, you can be not guilty of a particular charge or a particular crime and still probably have done it, and I think that’s where we are with Bill Cosby. And I think there’s a little bit of an analogy here with OJ, right? If you want to go back a long time to OJ Simpson, OJ Simpson clearly killed Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, for anyone out there who paid any attention to that case at all.

BUCK: Who believes in reality, yes.

CLAY: Now, what I would say is so interesting about the way this story is being covered so far is it’s very muted. There are somewhere around 60 women who accused Bill Cosby of raping them — 60, six zero. I am of the opinion… I have never seen a story in my career as a lawyer where you could get 60 different women to lie and all tell the same lie.

BUCK: Right. This is effectively statistically impossibl.e

CLAY: Impossible.

BUCK: Yeah. So that’s where we get into… I felt like yesterday there are people who were saying — or at least some from within the Cosby camp obviously were saying — “Well, this is justice.” It’s our justice system acting the way that it should under the circumstances which is what… I don’t believe anybody in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court had some particular affinity for Bill Cosby —

CLAY: Yes.

BUCK: — which I think was still very much at play. You brought up the OJ case. OJ was still a beloved guy leading up into that. He still had that. I think Bill Cosby for years now has been considered somebody, because of these allegations, that no longer has that special public protection or perception protection, if you will.

CLAY: Yeah. I think Bill Cosby… Arguably, if we were going back in time to, let’s say, 1995, Bill Cosby might have been the most beloved father almost in America because of The Cosby Show and how wildly popular it was. And, by the way, you can do great art — which I think it’s fair to say The Cosby Show was and Bill Cosby was an incredibly talented individual — and also be an awful human being. Right?

BUCK: Do you still listen to Michael Jackson songs? I gotta say, Michael Jackson is one of the greatest music recording artists in my opinion of all time.

CLAY: Yes.

BUCK: All right? I think you could put him in the top 10 or the top 20 pretty easily.

CLAY: Probably a sexual predator.

BUCK: A lot of people have feelings about that too. So you look at this and I think people should be able to watch, you know, The Cosby Show or listen to Michael Jackson and not feel like that is in any way —

CLAY: An endorsement —

BUCK: Correct.

CLAY: — of the behaviors that they’re alleged to have committed because… And I know we live in an America right now where, because of social media, everything is Disneyified. And what I mean by that is, you’re either the greatest human being who has ever lived or the absolute worst. What works is extreme emotion. And so people love either something or they completely hate it.

And so you can believe that Bill Cosby is a wildly talented comedian, that he might have done overall great things in America, which I do believe is true, for race relations. Because, remember, The Cosby Show, at the time that it aired and began to air in the 1980s was a radical presumption. A nuclear family. You had a doctor as a husband.

Bill Cosby I think was a pediatrician or whatever the heck he was. The Claire Huxtable character was a lawyer living in a fairly high-end house with kids that connected with the entire scope of America, right? Whether you were 6 years old or 86 years old, you could watch The Cosby Show and see a reflection of what you believed America should look like. Now it’s come out I think Bill Cosby is a rapist, and I think he has gotten off based on technicalities.