AP releases footage of Cosby demands to 'scuttle' part of interview

An Associated Press reporter recently asked Bill Cosby about sexual abuse allegations. Things got even more awkward than you'd imagine.

That was uncomfortable.

The Associated Press released footage Wednesday night of part of an interview one of its reporters recently conducted with Bill Cosby, who is facing accusations of sexual impropriety from numerous women.

It gets awkward when the reporter asks Cosby about recent allegations of sexual misconduct and jokes made about them by comedian Hannibal Buress. Cosby declines comment, then goes a step further — and a step way too far for most journalists — when he demands that part of the interview gets left on the cutting room floor.

The embattled comedy legend adds that he believed such questions were out of bounds for the AP, citing its integrity. He demands a person standing off-screen, presumably an aide helping with media relations, call the editor in charge of the story to make sure the questions are "scuttled."

The AP said in the video that it decided to release the segment after additional accusations were made against Cosby in the past week. The news organization maintains it made no promises not to ask about the alleged incidents.

Agree with its airing or not, the newly released footage is a fascinating look at the back-and-forth that often goes on between journalists and sources, or their representatives. Any reporter will tell you that one of his or her major pet peeves is when the subject of an interview claims a statement was off-the-record after the fact; nearly all journalists consider that a bush-league move.

An exchange like this isn’t uncommon, but it is rare for footage of it to see the light of day. Clearly in retrospect, Cosby would have done better by stopping at "no comment." 

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