The president avoided outright calling Cosby a “rapist.”
President Obama at the press conference this morning.
President Barack Obama was careful about his wording when he answered a question about Bill Cosby at a press conference this morning. While he managed to avoid calling the 77-year-old comedian a rapist, he did make an allusion to the declassified court documents in which Cosby confesses to giving women quaaludes with the intention of raping them (not, as so many media sites insist on writing, to have “sex” with them. Sex would require that both partners be conscious and consenting).
"If you give a woman, or a man, for that matter, without his or her knowledge a drug, and then have sex with that person without consent, that's rape," Obama told reporters on Wednesday. "And I think this country, any civilized country, should have no tolerance for rape."
The issue did not come out of the blue. Reporters were questioning our president about the possibility of revoking Cosby’s 2002 Presidential Medal of Freedom award in light of the new evidence against him (because the 50+ accounts from women he raped throughout the years were not enough until Cosby’s own words substantiated them). Obama gently dismissed the suggestion, pointing out that there was no “mechanism” to revoke his word because there was no precedent for it either. There’s a first time for everything.