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President Obama says he can’t revoke Bill Cosby’s Medal of Freedom

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Even though he just moved proverbial mountains by reaching a nuclear deal with Iran, President Obama admits there are just some things he can’t do. Unfortunately, one of those things is taking back Bill Cosby’s Presidential Medal of Freedom.

At a press conference on Wednesday, the President was asked to comment on a WhiteHouse.gov petition to revoke Cosby’s medal, which was awarded to the comedian in 2000 by George W. Bush. These petitions usually require 100,000 signatures before any kind of action on behalf of the White House, but the President gave his response anyway. He said he’s currently unable to give the petitioners what they want, citing a lack of “mechanism” to carry out such a withdrawal.


The President declined to comment on the specific allegations against Cosby, but he did make a strong statement against rape:

I’ll say this. If you give a woman—or a man, for that matter—without his or her knowledge a drug, and then have sex with that person without consent, that’s rape. And I think this country, any civilized country, should have no tolerance for rape.


But while Cosby will probably get to hang on to his medal, the death knell on his career has sounded. After the Associated Press reported that it had obtained documents from a 2005 deposition in which Cosby admitted to getting prescriptions for Quaaludes for the purposes of drugging women with them, several of his supporters finally distanced themselves from the comedian.

Cosby hasn’t just lost some of his pals: Despite the comedian’s pleas for latitude from the black media, Bounce TV bounced the sitcom Cosby from its lineup, and Centric pulled The Cosby Show reruns. Just last week, Walt Disney World removed a bust of Cosby from the park’s Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame Plaza. Cosby has also been dropped by his agent, which leaves him “without talent representation in Hollywood.” And we’re just halfway through the summer.