I'm not going to give the Associated Press any medals for the November 6 video it took its sweet time releasing of Bill Cosby bullying a reporter over inquiries on the sexual assault allegations. The upside is that video is a mere snapshot into what can only be a bottomless pit of manipulative behavior.
If any good is to come of this, it's that this video will demonstrate why victims of sexual assault are so reluctant to go to law enforcement or discuss their traumatic experiences on a witness stand. Even the AP reporter, who should be accustomed to asking difficult questions, weasels and dances around the raping elephant in the room.
Cosby: "And I'll tell you why. I think you were told. I don't want to compromise your integrity, but we don't, I don't talk about it."
This statement right here is a prime example of expert manipulation. "I don't want to compromise your integrity?" Cosby implies he's doing the reporter a favor by declaring the sexual assault allegations off topic. The implication here is that if the reporter goes public, the AP's integrity will be trashed. Although it's laughable think about this now, it's very likely he said something similar to one or more of his victims. The thinly-veiled threat can apply to any field: entertainment, writing, the arts, etc.
Cosby: "I know I didn't say anything, but I'm asking your integrity that since I didn't want to say anything, but I did answer you in terms of 'I don't want to say anything, of what value will it have?'"
AP Reporter: "I don't think it will have..."
Cosby: (Speaking to off-camera publicist) "Mam? What'd you say?"
AP Reporter: "Sorry?"
Cosby: "What did you say?"
Off-camera publicist: "I don't think it has any value either."
Cosby: "And I would appreciate it if it was scuttled."
Not only is Cosby in on these threatening and manipulative tactics, but he has his press people are too. These two are determining what does and doesn't have value instead of the AP's readership. These two are dictating the content of a news story instead of the AP. These two are silencing not only the women who have spoken out but those who have remained silent so far but may not any longer.
Other notable quotes from Cosby echo the same behavior, but what's most interesting is the AP reporter's responses. The reporter never really takes responsibility for asking the questions. Keep in mind it really could be that the higher ups wanted something, as the reporter stated, but there's a lot of backing down and borderline apologetic behavior.
Cosby: "Now can I get something from you?"
AP Reporter: "What's that?"
Cosby: "That none of that will be shown?"
AP Reporter: "I can't promise that, myself, but you didn't say anything..."
AP Reporter: "I hear you. I will tell that to my editors and I think that they will understand..."
Cosby: "I think if you want to consider yourself to be serious that it will not appear anywhere."
AP Reporter: "OK. I appreciate what you've asked."
Cosby: "Thank you. And we thought, by the way, because it was AP, that it wouldn't be necessary to go over that question with you."
AP Reporter: "I know. And we haven't written about this at all in the past two months, but they want, my bosses wanted me to ask..."
Really? A reporter appreciates a highly controversial interview subject asking him to delete a damning interview portion? Yes, I get that the moment was probably awkward, but the video got the reporter to say that he appreciates a demand that dictates the exact opposite of what's in a reporter's job description. That would be so amazing if it weren't so disgusting.
Cosby didn't even assault the reporter, and yet the reporter is clearly nervous and deferential over questions that didn't even get answered.
Not only that, but the AP was so intimidated by this information that it didn't even release it until more victims came forward. At that time, nearly two weeks had passed. I guess that answers the question of how many people have to come forward until the general public is convinced we have a sexual predator in our midst.
The AP is a very large, nationally known media outlet. If its reporters can't even directly confront Cosby in the safety of multiple witnesses and a camera, then how can we expect sexual assault victims to do the same?