Writers milk the Derrick Rose suit for all it's worth

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No, Robert Silverman, Derrick Rose isn't the NBA's Bill Cosby. - AP PHOTO/CHARLES REX ARBOGAST
  • AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
  • No, Robert Silverman, Derrick Rose isn't the NBA's Bill Cosby.

You pundits who want to suck their thumbs and say something deep about Derrick Rose—have at it. The bar's been set so low that unless you attack your keyboard with a backhoe nothing you have to say can go lower.

The Daily Beast headline: "Is Derrick Rose the NBA's Bill Cosby?" A lawsuit filed Wednesday by a woman Rose knows accuses him and two friends of drugging and assaulting her two years ago in Beverly Hills. Rose denies it.

The Daily Beast's Robert Silverman doesn't have many facts to go on, but he understands that he's paid to moralize and facts are his enemy. Could Silverman have written, "Oh no. Please God, don’t let this be real" if he had any idea if it was or not? If he knew the facts, could he have dashed off this dazzling display of Solomonic agnosticism:
   If your reaction to this story is either to join what’s sure to be a growing chorus screaming "golddigger" or an equally incensed mob ready to summarily convict Rose before any more information comes to light, you’re heading down the wrong path.

Silverman's insight—and he's not the first to have it—is that in the name of begging readers not to jump to conclusions it's permissible to savor all the conclusions they shouldn't jump to. Ignorance is delicious. "What makes this all the more frightening and awful to contemplate," he writes, "is that the vast majority of what we do know about Derrick Rose stands in stark contrast to the horrors described in the lawsuit. And if it does turn out to be true, it renders all the good that he has done utterly meaningless."

There are reporters who write trash because they can't help themselves. Their readers expect it and at home there are mouths to feed. Silverman makes the novel claim that not being able to help himself is another measure of this horrific story. "The instinct is to dig deeper into Rose’s past, as if questions of marital infidelity, promiscuity or dishonesty have any relevance," he says. Helpless before instinct, he passes along every piece of dirt he can dig up. Then he makes it clear again that "none of them mean a thing when it comes to crimes like these."

And yet it's a civil suit and Rose hasn't been formally accused of a crime, much less convicted of one.  But all this means is that "we’re all in the dark, sickened at the thought that Rose might possibly be capable of committing these unspeakably brutal acts," 

By this point Silverman has done everything but identify with women everywhere, so that's what he does next: "In that terrible position of not-knowing, male fans of Derrick Rose (yes, including me) are getting to experience a tiny fraction of the pervasive, oppressive fear that women have always faced—that they don’t know which seemingly 'nice' guy will turn out to be a monster."

Silverman gets it. He really gets it. Once in a while a writer can cut loose and dish up complete crap.

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