Channel: The Maynard Institute for Journalism Education
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An "Angry Black Woman" Firestorm

September 19, 2014

Questionable framing of story on "Scandal" creator; 3 journalists among 8 killed by Ebola-frightened villagers; Goodell promises to punish players who commit abuse; Latino group ranks NBC first among networks on inclusion; lighter Asian Americans, Latinos more likely to back GOP; Islamic State video features kidnapped journalist; solution offered to off-the-record White House briefings; Whitaker didn't ask Cosby about sexual assault accusations (9/19/14)

Questionable Framing of Story on "Scandal" Creator

3 Journalists Among 8 Killed by Ebola-Frightened Villagers

Goodell Promises to Punish Players Who Commit Abuse

Latino Group Ranks NBC First Among Networks on Inclusion

Lighter Asian Americans, Latinos More Likely to Back GOP

Islamic State Video Features Kidnapped Journalist

Whitaker Didn't Ask Cosby About Sexual Assault Accusations

Former Newsweek editor Mark Whitaker, author of "Cosby: His Life and Times," a new biography of Bill Cosby, did not ask his subject about allegations that he drugged and sexually assaulted women in 2004, television critic Eric Deggans reported for NPR on Friday.

In his report, Deggans said he interviewed Cosby critic Michael Eric Dyson, the academic and social critic. "Dyson says Whitaker's been seduced by Cosby. He notes the biography doesn't mention a jarring accusation from 2004. When several women claim the comic drugged and sexually [assaulted] them."

The transcript continues:

"DYSON: So, how is it that accusations of immorality that have been levied against Mr. Cosby don't make it into a book where the author defends Mr. Cosby in terms of his own attacks on young people?

"DEGGANS: Whitaker, who did write about times when Cosby cheated on his wife said he never asked his subject directly about the assault allegations or interviewed the accusers. As a journalist Whitaker says he wasn't [comfortable] including complex accusations in the book that he couldn't prove.

"WHITAKER: And I just did not want to be in a position of printing allegations and denials and then be in a position as a journalist writing the most thorough biography that's ever been done. If people said to me, well what do you think really happened? And I would say, you know, I don't know. . . ."

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