The story of an eyewitness essay

The story of an eyewitness essay Dylan Farrow’s damning allegations of sexual abuse, the director of Cannes’ opening film today remains beloved by stars, paid by Amazon and rarely interrogated by media as his son, Ronan Farrow, writes about the culture of acquiescence surrounding his father. They’re not in the headlines. These were the objections from a producer at my network. It was September 2014 and I was preparing to interview a respected journalist about his new biography of Bill Cosby.

The book omitted allegations of rape and sexual abuse against the entertainer, and I intended to focus on that omission. That producer was one of several industry veterans to warn me against it. At the time, there was little more than a stalled lawsuit and several women with stories, all publicly discredited by Cosby’s PR team. There was no criminal conviction. So we compromised: I would raise the allegations, but only in a single question late in the interview. And I called the author, reporter to reporter, to let him know what was coming.

He seemed startled when I brought it up. I was the first to ask about it, he said. He paused for a long time, then asked if it was really necessary. On air, he said he’d looked into the allegations and they didn’t check out. Today, the number of accusers has risen to 60. And reporters covering Cosby have been forced to examine decades of omissions, of questions unasked, stories untold. I am one of those reporters — I’m ashamed of that interview.