Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Bill Cosby to Journalist: "Can I Get Something From You? That None of That Will Be Shown?"

The Associated Press did an interview with Bill Cosby and his wife on November 6 regarding an art exhibit. Toward the end of the interview, the reporter asked Cosby about accusations of sexual assault that have resurfaced recently.

Cosby declined to comment. But he continued to talk ... while he remained on camera.

The Associated Press did not show the footage above at first. They did about two weeks later, as more women came forward with accusations against the comedian (and now former Temple trustee).

Was the Associated Press wrong to show the video? Did they violate journalism ethics or just Cosby's wishes? Since there was no previous arrangement to keep any operations of the interview off the record, was everything recorded fair game?

Would you have broadcast or published the video?


Dan O'Neill said...

I would have. The reason being is because he never specifically said that magic term, "off the record". Had he done so, then the footage would have never been shown to the general public, no questions asked. However, considering that he never said anything about the question/answer (or lack thereof) to not being in the final product once he finished it, then no, it deserves to be in there.

That's just how the world of journalism works, regardless of how I feel for Cosby.

Jenny Kerrigan said...

I don't think that portion of the interview was newsworthy. Cosby didn't say anything except that he didn't want that part to be shown, so AP didn't really have a story there. They got away with it because the footage made him "look" guilty for not commenting but I don't think that is good journalism.

Faissal Darwish said...

The AP wasn't wrong to air the footage, I would have done the same thing. I think they found the footage to be newsworthy since it was definitely relevant to current world issues.

Also, the AP did not make Bill Cosby look guilty by releasing the footage, Cosby made himself look guilty by refusing to defend himself on camera if the accusations are indeed false.

Cosby also knew the camera was still on when he said not to show the footage, even though he should have waited for the cameraman to turn it off so it would be implied that Cosby's request was "off the record."

Ashley Rodriguez said...

I would have definitely broadcast the video because it was never said that they were off the record and Cosby has worked in the industry for a very long time and has done countless interviews throughout this life so he should know that if he wanted to say something and not have it shown he would have had to make that explicit and wait until the cameras were off.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, the first half of the interview, in which Cosby was questioned about recent accusations of sexual harassment, was fair game for public disclosure. To my knowledge, a previous document stating that Cosby were not to be questioned about the allegations, during this particular interview, was never signed. That being said, Cosby's request that the questioning about such a controversial subject not be aired, was disregard-able. This clip provided a reasonable amount of insight on the topic, making the interview, as a whole, more newsworthy. However, I do not agree with the fact that the latter portion of the video, in which Cosby and his wife were unaware that they were still being recorded, was released to the public. The couple had not agreed to be recorded following the interview, making this form of journalism unethical. Personally, I most definitely would have aired the original interview, but the after footage would have been cut and disposed of, for releasing it was a breach of confidence.

-Olivia Love

Jenna Faccenda said...

I would have, news is news no matter what context it is in. Cosby may not have wanted it shown, but that just makes it more newsworthy. They weren't breaking any laws the Associated Press had the right to broadcast this segment of the interview. I'll agree with that it wasn't conveying a lot of information but it was still showing enough for news. In this case it is entertainment. The statement that two more women came forward with allegations is what made this interview worthy of sharing. It raises a lot of questions in the public eye. Of course there are more important things to report on than Bill Cosby's past but it is still news regardless. And this news in particular fulfills the interests of a majority of the populatoon. Isn't that what we ask ourselves as Journalists. What would the people be interested in reading?

Jenna Faccenda said...