1. It’s Monday, July 27, 2015.
2. Revulsion is the word that comes to mind when you see the New York magazine effort to give Bill Cosby’s accusers individual and collective voices.
I was able to see it last night on the Web site (which, as of this writing, has been down for most of the morning for reasons undisclosed). Each of these women share the hurt and fear they’ve felt after being sexually assaulted by a man who the world — including me — believed was a hero.
I think it’s impossible to read the whole thing at once because, at some point, your sense of disgust becomes overwhelming.
Journalistically, it’s a tremendous package — one reason you can’t call it a “story” is that it’s 35 individual stories brought together through the smart use of Web tools.
3. Back when I thought he was one of the greatest Americans ever, I downloaded the Bill Cosby app onto my iPhone and iPad. It was a pretty thorough app, with pictures, concert dates, a biography, photos and other highlights of his career.
Now, the app has the feel of an abandoned shopping mall.
There’s still the remnants of what was there — pictures of Cosby with Captain Kangaroo and Lena Horne (I’m not sure either of their estates would be too keen about that right now).
But then there’s the Fan Wall section, with comments posted in a random way like graffiti. Lisalisa49 saying “You’re a serial rapist.” Castrol_Kuwait saying “Mr. Bill your my number one fan I don’t care what they say, in my eyes you still innocent.” archiewatts21 has posted a picture of Cosby in one of his trademark sweaters with his eyes looking upward and his famous smirk with the image of Disney’s Snow White lying asleep.
In the Photos section are four pictures, two of individual children, one of Cosby talking to some girl and one of him talking to two older people.
The Store shows a picture of what must be the Web site, but you can’t buy anything. And there’s some kind of bizarre ticker with random comments on the bottom of the screen.
It is, all in all, a mess. Which seems fitting.
4. Supposedly, Cosby’s legal team is launching some sort of publicity offensive (a word with double meaning here) against the accusations. I guess they’re going on talk shows and news programs to get the message out that he didn’t do what all these women say he did.
Here’s the thing: There’s nothing lawyers, publicists, religious leaders, celebrities, well-meaning civic leaders — anyone — can do for Bill Cosby.
The only way this goes away is if Bill Cosby gives an honest accounting of what transpired. Not the rambling, old crotchedy man routine we saw in interviews before all this became widely known.
Cosby has always had the ability to get straight to the point. That’s why his comedy always seemed so brilliant.
He can do that again if he wanted to. He apparently doesn’t.
5. I’m biased. I’m a fan of The New York Times and a really big fan of my fellow Medill School of Journalism alum, Margaret Sullivan, the public editor who looks into flaws in The Times’ reporting.
This morning, she pulls no punches in criticizing what The Times did wrong in reporting last week that federal inspectors general were seeking a Justice Department criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s e-mail practices.
The Justice Department later said the referrals were not for a criminal investigation. The Times slowly pulled back from the story and corrected it.
In short, Ms. Sullivan says The Times was too hasty in publishing something that was too dependent on anonymous sources.
Her piece is a reaffirmation of the integrity with which she handles her job — and a reminder that The Times, unlike other publications in the city it calls home, values its integrity enough to air its admittedly dirty laundry.