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. 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:

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. “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.

  7. 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.

  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. The name says it all : Paterno. The name State Penn will live on in infamy. Say it aint so Joe.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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?
    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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. If they exist, they should and must be turned over with a proper subpoena…..

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

Comments are closed.