Will Ferguson Unrest Give Bill Cosby a Short-Term Reprieve?

With national media in wall-to-wall coverage of the unrest in Ferguson following Darren Wilson’s non-indictment, accusations against Cosby fade from TV

Last Updated: November 25, 2014 @ 10:08 AM

Bill Cosby will not be able to hide under the covers from Hollywood media coverage regardless of other stories going on around the country. But he might have scored a separate media victory, sadly thanks to the violence and unrest going on in Ferguson, Missouri.

From 6 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. ET, Cosby has not been mentioned once on Fox News, MSNBC, or CNN. Some readers might be thinking … duh, there’s fires, burning buildings, toppled police cars, tear gas, and gunshots going off in Ferguson, Missouri following the decision by a grand jury not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the shooting and killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

And those readers are right. The attention is rightfully on Ferguson today, and likely will be for days to come. The question is, how will the widespread focus — and the subsequent decreased national media attention on increasing allegations toward the comedian — ultimately impact the duration of the Cosby story?

“Ferguson will continue to dominate cable news coverage for a few days, or until some other crisis occurs,” former CBS vice president and Fox News president Joe Peyronnin told TheWrap.  “Meanwhile, the Bill Cosby story will not go away. Rather, Cosby will receive coverage when there are new developments, for example, if he decides to publicly answer the allegations against him.”

Another media expert predicts the Cosby story will dominate, regardless of Ferguson.

“The Cosby story has been around a long time and won’t go away,” Al Tompkins, senior faculty for broadcasting and online at the Poynter Institute, told TheWrap. “There are so many claims now that they cannot be ignored. That story and Ferguson are such different issues they do not compete for attention. Plus, as you know, December is often a slow news month so there is plenty of time for both.”Tompkins is right about December, but this one might be the exception. With a lame duck Congress finishing its term, cable and broadcast news will surely be covering the legislative battles about to ensue following President Obama’s executive action on immigration, as well as other actions he might try to take while he still has a Democratically-controlled Congress for one more month.

No matter what the media covers, or opts not to cover, TheWrap will continue to cover ongoing developments in the Cosby story as well as Ferguson.