Did NBC Bury Creepy Sandusky Interview?

Prosecutors in the trial of former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky are asking NBC to turn over the tapes of an interview with him that had unaired creepy segments. It is not clear why NBC chose not to air the statements where Sandusky appears almost self-incriminating. There is no reason for NBC to protect Sandusky so many of us are perplexed why such revealing lines were left unaired.

The testimony of witnesses in the trial has been incredibly disturbing and, if true, show a pedophile operating in the virtual open. It has been particularly damaging to the reputation of coach Joe Paterno who was allegedly told by an assistant coach that he walked in on Sandusky having anal sex with a boy in the showers on campus — and appears to have done nothing against his long-time defensive coordinator.

Now, prosecutors want the NBC tape as the final coup de grace. Many of us were surprised by Sandusky and his lawyer doing extensive media appearances at the start of the controversy.

The interview with Bob Costas reportedly included statements like “I didn’t go around seeking out every young person for sexual needs that I’ve helped.” He also stated:

“I’m a very passionate person in terms of trying to make a difference in the lives of some young people,” Sandusky said. “I worked very hard to try to connect with them. To make them feel good about themselves. To be something significant in their lives. Maybe this gets misinterpreted, has gotten depending on. … I know a lot of young people where it hasn’t. I have worked with many, many young people where there has been no misinterpretation of my actions and I have made a very significant difference in their lives.”

Costas asks:

“But isn’t what you’re just describing the classic MO of many pedophiles? And that is that they gain the trust of young people, they don’t necessarily abuse every young person. There were hundreds, if not thousands, of young boys you came into contact with, but there are allegations that at least eight of them were victimized. Many people believe there are more to come . . . So it’s entirely possible that you could’ve helped young boy A in some way that was not objectionable while horribly taking advantage of young boy B, C, D and E. Isn’t that possible?”

Sandusky responds with

“Well — you might think that. I don’t know. In terms of — my relationship with so many, many young people. I would — I would guess that there are many young people who would come forward. Many more young people who would come forward and say that my methods and — and what I had done for them made a very positive impact on their life. . . And I didn’t go around seeking out every young person for sexual needs that I’ve helped. There are many that I didn’t have — I hardly had any contact with who I have helped in many, many ways.”

Such statements are generally admissible if authenticated in court. Such interviews can be extremely damaging for defendants because of the impact of visual evidence like videos. Moreover, to make such revealing statements in an interview can be taken as a more “honest” moment than testimony on a stand. Finally, if the defendant does not take the stand, this would be the only time that the jury hears from him. That would be a particularly bad insight or optics for a jury to hear such creepy responses from Sandusky.

I am not sure why this is coming up so late in the trial and after the prosecutors have rested their case. It could be an effort to deter Sandusky from taking the stand. While it is his right to refuse to testify, it always tends to work against a defendant with a jury. The prosecutors could be implicitly threatening that they would seek to use the tape in cross-examination if Sandusky tries to take the stand.

In the end, the tape not only raises questions of why NBC did not air the segments but reaffirms the criticism of the Sandusky and his counsel in how their approached the case in the media in the early stages.

Source: MSNBC

30 thoughts on “Did NBC Bury Creepy Sandusky Interview?

  1. I will not be surprised to learn that NBC has destroyed the tapes. Anything to protect good old Penn State, it’s magnificent football teams & the old geezer (Paterno) who ignored what this dirty, rotten worm was doing to children.

  2. Dredd – I have not followed the case and I couldn’t care less about college football but a friends sent me a link to an ESPN blurb where the sports writer was asking if the defense was trying to ensure conviction. Apparently on cross-examination Sandusky’s lawyer has asked questions that allowed the witnesses to retell their stories and reinforce their points while doing nothing to help the defense. It was interesting to see a jocks take on the court room.

  3. NBC may have wanted to avoid being seen as “taking a side” or showing Sandusky in a particular light. Sports journalism has always been more risk averse than the rest of the field. It’s one reason why all kinds of major hypocrites have been able to burnish shining images even in the gaze a 24 hour news cycle.

  4. Wouldn’t the NBC tape be protected from seizure?

    There is a rumor (the report says evidence but I don’t have access to it) that Sandusky is part of a much larger ring that goes to the state house.

    re: Paterno. He did report to the higher ups at Penn State in the belief that was all that was required of him. He was nothing but Penn State football so he didn’t want the scandal. I think he took his own action against Sandusky by telling him he wouldn’t be Joe’s successor. He may have forced Sandusky’s retirement. Unfortunately he didn’t bar him from having access to the facilities or the football field during games. Or if Joe did bar Sandusky, he didn’t enforce it.

  5. He is one creepy, and sick individual. This whole situation smells bad. I think NBC may have been asked by the defense to bury the tapes, but why did the defense agree to this interview? Did Sandusky do it on his own agaisnt the wishes of his counsel?
    Bettykath,
    In my opinion, Paterno looked the other way and was just as responsible for the predation. It is sad that his career and life will be forever marred by these actions.

  6. raff, yes, Paterno looked the other way after taking the actions that he did. Telling his very successful asst. coach that he wouldn’t be his successor, was an action. He probably encouraged Sandusky’s retirement. Passing the buck was an action. His over-riding concern was no scandal to be associated with Penn State football. He certainly could have, and should have, done more but it would have meant the scandal that eventually erupted. So he looked the other way and justified it “for the better good.” Unfortunagely he allowed additional boys to be abused. Bad move, Joe.

  7. Sounds like he raped a lot more boys, but he thinks the others didn’t have a problem with it so that make it okay in his mind, and he’s convinced himself that the ones that are testifying against him just misunderstood!

    I want to now how many other times someone know about this predator and looked the other way that we just don’t know about YET.

  8. OK, Yahoo news prints the following paragraph today:

    “Matt had become so convinced of his own abuse that he called prosecutors earlier this week and expressed a willingness to testify against his father. He’d started the trial on the defense witness list.”

    OK, isn’t this strange? It doesn’t say, “Matt called prosecutors earlier this week and expressed a willingness to testify against his father. He’d started the trial on the defense witness list.”

    It says, “Matt had become so convinced of his own abuse that…”

    What about this peculiar wording? Does Yahoo News have some information about the process by which Matt “became convinced of his own abuse”?

    Could he, for instance, have “become convinced of” it because he experienced it?

  9. BREAKING NEWS: There has been a verdict in the Sandusky case. They are now rounding up the attorneys, participants and courtroom staff to get them into the courtroom. Verdict will be read sometime around 10:00 PM EST.

    Reporters apparently will not be allowed to leak the verdict until the entire jury finding is read on all counts.

  10. “Joe Amendola made the comments while surrounded by a pack of reporters early Friday evening in the Centre County courtroom. One asked the lawyer — who also talked about the “daunting” challenge of defending Sandusky — if he would be “shocked” if his client was cleared on all charges.

    “Shocked? I’ll probably die of a heart attack,” Amendola said.” – CNN

    We’ll see soon enough.

  11. Verdict in. 48 counts, guilty on 45 of them. Dayum!

    Sandusky is going to be spending a looooonnnngggg time at the state’s bed and breakfast inn.

  12. Gene, in all the years I have worked with attorneys, that statement is a first. I have heard attorneys be pessimistic in private while the jury is out but that is just not something one says on the record in front of reporters.

    If I did something like that, I would expect to be 1) fired, and 2) have ethical charges filed against me.

    If I was a potential client, I know that I would scratch Joe Amendola off my list of lawyers to hire.

  13. OS,

    I found Amendola’s comments considerably less than discrete as well, but like you, I’ve heard plenty of private pessimism/realism of this level of brutal honesty or worse. Never, ever in front of reporters though.

  14. Gene, yup. In the privacy of an office or witness waiting room, yes. Never in front of reporters and TV cameras. Personally, I avoid cameras like the plague. I once sneaked out a private back door and walked four blocks around a Federal courthouse to avoid the press gaggle on the front steps. More lawyers ought to do that.

  15. Some people just love to see their reflection in the electric eye. The reflecting god soothes their fevered egos and feeds the desire for celebrity.

    Personally, I think it steals a little bit of your soul. :mrgreen:

  16. “Jun 22, 2012
    Penn State releases statement on Sandusky trial: June 22, 2012

    Today Penn State learned that a verdict was reached in the case of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Gerald Sandusky. Mr. Sandusky was found guilty of 45 of the 48 charges filed against him.

    The legal process has spoken and we have tremendous respect for the men who came forward to tell their stories publicly. No verdict can undo the pain and suffering caused by Mr. Sandusky, but we do hope this judgment helps the victims and their families along their path to healing.

    The Board of Trustees and current administration maintain a steadfast commitment to pursuing the truth regarding Mr. Sandusky’s actions. While we cannot change what happened, we can and do accept the responsibility to take action on the societal issue of child sexual abuse—both in our community and beyond. The University is committed to ensuring that our campuses are safe for children and to being a constructive participant in building greater awareness of child sexual abuse and the practical steps that can be undertaken to prevent, report and respond to such abuse.

    The University has already established a confidential counseling process for victims of Mr. Sandusky’s conduct, and that process remains open. (For further information, please visit http://live.psu.edu/story/58590.) While counseling is critical, some victims have sought and continue to seek a direct dialogue with the University to discuss the University’s responsibility for Mr. Sandusky’s actions

    Now that the jury has spoken, the University wants to continue that dialogue and do its part to help victims continue their path forward. To that end, the University plans to invite victims of Mr. Sandusky’s abuse to participate in a program to facilitate the resolution of claims against the University arising out of Mr. Sandusky’s conduct. The purpose of the program is simple – the University wants to provide a forum where the University can privately, expeditiously and fairly address the victims’ concerns and compensate them for claims relating to the University. Counsel to the University plan to reach out to counsel to the victims of Mr. Sandusky’s abuse in the near future with additional details.”

  17. Now they want to help? I am so unimpressed. Better the young men that the university failed to protect sue than accept the buy-off that’s to be offered.

  18. Gene & LK, the university is now in full damage control mode. Now who could have predicted that?

  19. Oops, I should have said thanks to Gene for the update but I just went all angry to the exclusion of good manners for a few minutes. Thank Gene! :-)

    OS, I hope they have to sell their stadium to pay off those kids, maybe then they will put the school focus on scholarship, where it belongs. :-) LOL, this story and the PS weaseling just still makes me see red. The fact that it’s almost 2:30am and I’m still up drinking coffee probably adds to the vitriol.

    You a night-owl too?

  20. LK, at times I am a night owl. Since I lost my wife last September, my sleep pattern is shot all to hell. We were married 55 years, and you develop a lot of habits over that amount of time. When I reach over to touch her in the middle of the night and she is not there, I am suddenly wide awake. So yeah, I guess I am an intermittent night owl.

  21. LK,

    You are most welcome and any vitriol you may feel toward a creepy pedophile like Sandusky is fully justified any time, night or day, no matter what your beverage of choice might be.

  22. For decades, while weathering the angry retorts of a lot of my co-activists, I have maintained that “The cover-up is worse than the crime.” The reason I believe this is my own rage at the fact that the cover-up not only encourages crime, but that it actually rewards it. If you take someone like Sandusky and you let him experience, “Hey Jerry, what you did is not nearly as bad as what one of your victims would be doing if he tried to punish you,” you create a false “better than my victim” veneer for the criminal to use in order to further justify his stature in actually victimizing the victim.

    Here’s how it goes, in my analysis:

    I do something to a victim.
    The victim can endure it and slink away or he can try to take action against me.
    If he takes action against me, he’s trying to make me a victim.
    He shouldn’t do that; it’s bad.
    He’s bad if he tries to do that.
    He deserves what I did to him.
    Therefore I didn’t do anything wrong.

    ONLY if the victim accepts abuse is the victim entitled to any consideration at all; otherwise he’s BAD and deserves whatever I choose to dish out.

    So the cover-up folks are abusers, plain and simple.

    They are enablers, facilitators, empowering abusers to become more and more abusive. THEY, however, have no excuse.

    Jerry Sandusky had an excuse for his criminal behavior. HE was a pedophile; HE was a mentally ill, discontrolled, emotional cripple.

    Those who protected him? They were normal people who did evil things.
    They contributed to abuse over and over and over and had no motive to do the crimes other than their refusal to stand up to their proper responsibilities and do their jobs.

    It is as if you send a bunch of soldiers to a foreign country to defeat an enemy. They surround a village. They see some of the enemy start a rampage killing civilians in the village. They are armed. They stand there, watching, and do not raise their weapons to stop the slaughter. They watch the whole thing or else, simply leave so they don’t have to watch.

    Are they innocent?

    The enemy agents who killed the civilians at least had a motive. A BAD motive but at least a motive. Did the troops, who were armed, have a motive to cover-up the crimes and turn away, failing to defend the civilians?

    That’s why I think the cover-up is worse than the crime.

    By the way, this is not a strange case, and there should be no surprise that there was such a lengthy and seemingly astonishing cover-up. An authority figure like Sandusky has patriarchal “teflon” that prevents people from wanting to bring him down. This is not just common, it is so common as to be invisible in most of our society. It is even more invisible than child sexual abuse.

  23. But about the attorney making statements against interest to the press, I am absolutely appalled! If the lawyer said something like that to his own office staff, I would think it a bit bizarre but acceptable because they are under the confidentiality umbrella WITH HIM but for him to say it to any other single person, even a person ON SANDUSKY’S SIDE like his wife, or something like that, would be WRONG and UNETHICAL and pretty close to tortious, in my opinion. EVEN AFTER the verdict it would be so.

    I will never forget the public defender of Todd Willingham (an innocent man killed by Texas) giving an interview AFTER his client was executed for a crime he did not commit, in a TV documentary of the case that was clearly put together to show that Willingham was innocent. Still, his lawyer, who had so abysmally lost his case, stood there and said to the camera (in response to the qeustion of whether he felt sorry for his now deceased client):

    “NO I don’t feel sorry for HIM! I feel sorry for those three innocent little children he killed!”

    I thought that guy should have been disbarred immediately.

    Of course, the various agencies the states have to take complaints against attorneys are all political, are practiced in cover-ups, conduct sham proceedings (at best) and are not to be trusted farther than you could throw a 300-pound lawyer with one arm tied behind you.

  24. From today’s news about Sandusky (who yesterday said that if he was kept in solitary he might get “nutty” — ):

    “He’s fine but he’s just not been evaluated,” the lawyer said. * * *
    “He is very disappointed to be in prison. He is anxious to get out of this suicide watch,” Rominger said, adding that Sandusky told him: “If I have to keep sitting in this room for another three or four days without being able to talk to anybody, I might start to need help at that point.”

    Wow. Well, if he does start to “need help,” we all better get together and make sure there’s a well-funded organization available to help him, huh?

  25. A well-known neuroscientist publishes in a piece about the Sandusky affair:

    Is Sandusky-as-monster actually Sandusky-as-broken-nervous-system? Cantor denies Sandusky that biological out: “One cannot choose to not be a pedophile, but one can choose to not be a child molester.” In other words, even if one has neurobiologically based abnormal urges, it is a criminal act to give in to them.

    So, how does that work? In Cantor’s view, a pedophile has sexual urges that are “biological” and cannot be changed. But there are also things he can control, character traits such as self-discipline, motivation and virtue. And those things can be mustered to resist the urge to act on his pedophilic desires.

    That reasoning can be carried over to all sorts of things. A person might have a family predisposition toward alcoholism but makes a decision whether to take that first drink. A person might have a plain face but makes a decision about whether to get that massive, hideous nose ring.

    But this kind of thinking presupposes a weird dichotomy. We can’t help our individual swirls of biological yuck and squishy brain parts filled with genes and hormones and neurotransmitters. But somewhere within each of us, perhaps in some secluded corner of the brain, a command center exists that is independent of biology. And this completely separate part of us enables us to resist abnormal urges that have arisen from an abnormal brain.

    A lovely thought, but that’s not how it works. Self-discipline, impulse control, gratification postponement and emotional regulation are all just as much products of biology as anything else that emanates from the brain. The same types of evidence that allowed us to understand the role for biology in such things as abnormal sexual urges have also demonstrated a role for biology in giving in to those urges.

    =================================================

    This, to me, is why the cover-up is worse than the crime.

    The criminal may have a brain chemistry problem. The cover-up specialists (there are always a full team of them, make no mistake about it) do not have that same brain chemistry problem. The whole reason we have laws to begin with is to make sure that each person’s whims and even each person’s irresistible drives do not operate to permit a situation where others’ normal human rights are sacrificed.

    So perhaps the pedophile cannot stop himself from becoming a child molester on a certain day at a certain time in a certain place with a certain child. BUT THE LAW CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT. But the law cannot do something about that if there is a deadly effective self-important unscrupulous, unethical, victim-crushing team in place to protect the criminal by denying the crime, thus enabling him to enlarge both his field of victims and his sphere of influence. Sandusky raped kids while he was in the throes of bad brain chemistry, OK, let’s go with that one. But was Paterno in the throes of bad brain chemistry when he made sure that there would be no negative consequences to Sandusky from his criminal acts?

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