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Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates
On Monday, 66-year old Joan Tarshis accused Bill Cosby of raping her. Tarshis says the attack took place in 1969, when she was 19 and working as comedy writer: ... [H]e told me that he wanted to work on a monologue together, and I had an idea for something about an earthquake that had just happened. Tarshis is the fifth woman to publicly accuse Bill Cosby of raping her. Perhaps it is not fair for a journalist to consider, or even publicize, anonymous allegations of criminal activity. Most of these allegations came after Constand sued Cosby in civil court. A defense of Cosby requires that one believe that several women have decided to publicly accuse one of the most powerful men in recent Hollywood history of a crime they have no hope of seeing prosecuted, and for which they are seeking no damages. I spent parts of 2006 and 2007 following Bill Cosby around the country. The author of this moment is Bill Cosby. I published a reported essay in 2008, in this magazine, on these call-outs.

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