The joke at the beginning of the Q&A part of Barack Obama’s press conference was that ABC’s Jon Karl seemed poised to ask a question about Donald Trump. The bigger non-Iran celebrity question in terms of impact came toward the end, when a reporter asked whether Obama would revoke Bill Cosby’s Medal of Freedom. “There is no mechanism” for such a revocation, Obama replied, but decided to further elaborate — and so ….

No kidding:

Maybe Obama should have just stuck with saying Cosby “acted stupidly.” He even starts off by saying that he doesn’t comment where guilt has not been established, which is actually the right policy, especially for the President of the United States. However, Obama then goes on to say this:

 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, uh, I think this country, any civilized country, should have no tolerance for rape.

True, and we don’t — once all of those facts have been established at a trial. There certainly seem to be a lot of allegations, and a growing body of evidence, that Cosby engaged in this behavior, and did so more than once, some of it from Cosby’s own mouth. A set of proven facts that Obama offers as a supposed hypothetical but firmly within the context of a Cosby question would result in a rape conviction, in this and most other “civilized” countries.

It’s one thing for people in the media and in regular life to speculate on it. It’s another entirely for the leader of the free world to make a thinly veiled pronouncement on the case absent even the beginning of a full investigation into Cosby’s actions — especially in the middle of a press conference on a key issue of global security. This hardly makes Obama look like someone to take seriously on any level. All of the caveats in the world won’t have anyone convinced that Obama was speaking hypothetically, especially since this statement in the hypothetical is so banal that it isn’t worth making in the first place, and it’s not exactly a pressing topic in light of the deal he’s defending.

Sometimes it’s just best to keep one’s mouth shut and not take the bait.

Speaking of speculation from media figures, Obama wasn’t the only one taking a new public stand on Bill Cosby in the past few hours. Whoopi Goldberg, who had doggedly defended Cosby until as late as last week, changed her tune after a sit-down with ABC News legal analyst Dan Abrams: