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Bill Cosby's lawyers on Thursday said a report that indicated the embattled comic expected the "black media" to be neutral was the result of "misconstrued" comments.
Facing mounting allegations from some 20 women who say the actor sexually assaulted and/or drugged them, Cosby broke his silence, allegedly telling reporter Stacy Brown that "I only expect the black media to uphold the standards of excellence in journalism and when you do that you have to go in with a neutral mind."
Brown, who got the scoop by simply calling Cosby's personal number, published stories on the short conversion in both the New York Post's Page Six section and in the Washington Informer, which focuses on African-American issues.
A statement from Cosby lawyer John P. Schmitt on Thursday evening said that his client's comments "continue to be misconstrued in a way that can only call into question the fair-mindedness of certain commentators."
"As previously noted, Mr. Brown identified himself to Mr. Cosby as a freelance reporter for a number of African-American media. To be clear, Mr. Cosby did not ask for special treatment from the African-American media," wrote Schmitt. "To the contrary, he asked that they adhere to journalistic standards and approach the story in a neutral manner — without a predisposition on either side of the story. It is of course what we would expect of all media."
Cosby's lawyers have vehemently denied the various allegations against him, and both his wife and daughter have issued public statements of support.
Schmitt called Georgetown University professor, former radio host and sometime MSNBC commentator Michael Eric Dryson "perhaps the most egregious example" of Cosby criticism.
"Dyson, who has been a persistent critic of Mr. Cosby's call for responsibility in the African-American community, has stated that Mr. Cosby's request for neutrality is part of what he calls Mr. Cosby's 'rape [of the] entire black community,'" wrote Schmitt. Mr. Cosby understands that Mr. Dyson does not agree with Mr. Cosby's views, but such mean-spirited and reckless rhetoric cannot go unchallenged by responsible people and journalists."
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