Bill Cosby is now out of jail but he’s going to be at the center of the media narrative for some time to come considering the nature of his crimes and the publicized nature of his release. While many folks out there have derided the move to have the one-time-comedian out of jail, there have been some people out there in the media who have come to defend Cosby and the decision to release him despite his prior conviction. One of those folks is Geraldo Rivera who took to the news circuit to defend Cosby in light of these most recent developments and events.
While appearing on Fox News, Geraldo Rivera came out with some, well, interesting comments when it came to Bill Cosby and the most recent news that he’d been released from prison essentially on a technicality. Included in some of Rivera’s statements were that he felt that Cosby’s original conviction was because of “mob justice” and lamented that the comedian wouldn’t’ be able to get the previous two years back on his life. Then Rivera really leaned into it with this statement:
“Our hearts go out to these victims — they should have gone to the prosecutor when their cases were ripe for justice. I am sorry they are not getting a sense of moral fulfillment now, or rehabilitation or repair, for the damage that this man probably did to them. But that’s not the way the criminal justice system works.”
Rivera, coming up on the side of the legal system here is his prerogative, and it was something close to a legal loophole that allowed Cosby to be released. But it still does tend to come off as an obtuse take considering the overturn of the conviction wasn’t because of new evidence exonerating Bill Cosby, but rather the failure of the District Attorney to properly prosecute the case. There’s a sizable difference in the two things, and championing the decision on the basis of legal precedent while essentially ignoring the crime is pretty gross.
Geraldo didn’t just cheer the idea of Bill Cosby being released, but also threw out that this might help Harvey Weinstein in his case as well. I suppose if you are going to defend one dude like this, you might as well go for all of them.
And it didn’t take long for the online mob to turn its attention to Geraldo Rivera and his defense of Bill Cosby. Quite a few folks jumped in to point out why Geraldo might have been siding with Cosby on this one. Check out some of the tweets:
Bill Cosby was released from prison last week because of a Pennsylvania State Supreme Court ruling that upheld the appeal that Cosby’s due process rights had been violated in his original conviction. In 2005, Cosby had agreed to a deposition in the civil case accuser Andrea Constant in exchange for not being prosecuted for any crimes in that case. But then, the District Attorney went ahead with the case years later anyway. This violated the original agreement and was why, ultimately, Cosby was released.
Geraldo Rivera wasn’t the only one out there coming to cheer the release of Bill Cosby from prison. Former Cosby Show co-star and on-screen wife Phylicia Rashad had something similar to say on social media last week as well. In a tweet she said that a “miscarriage of justice is corrected”. This also led to considerable backlash and Rashad had to follow up with a show or remorse for the victims who’ve come out against Cosby. It’s an awful situation all around and one that is likely to stay in the public forum for some time to come.