« Bradley Cooper Blah Blah 'People' Mag Blah Sexiest Man Blah Blah | Main | Howard Stern Negotiating for Piers Morgan's Job as 'America's Got Talent' Judge »
Tuesday
Nov152011

VIDEO: Bob Costas Scores Small Victory for Victims and Journalism with Sandusky Grilling 

REVIEWING THE NEWS: Some of the content in Bob Costas' Rock Center interview with accused ex-Penn State Defensive Coordinator Jerry Sandusky was shocking, but Costas' unblinking cross-examination wasn't. (VIDEO)

By Kenny Herzog

Costas has always been good, but never under such significant and complex circumstances.

 

It's almost impossible to fathom why disgraced former Penn State Coach Jerry Sandusky and his attorney, Joseph Amendola, conceded to an interview with Bob Costas on last night's Rock Center. Or why Amendola didn't muzzle his blithering client halfway through the unsettling, self-indicting discussion.

Maybe it's because they were able to conduct it over the phone, thereby stripping Costas of the chance to interrogate his subject while looking him in the eye. Or perhaps Amendola figured that, if America finally heard about these allegations from the lone implicated adult, it could give him a head start on discrediting the then-underage children whom Sandusky purportedly sodomized.

It's also likely that Amendola underestimated Costas, whose career has generally remained within the boundaries of sports reporting and commentary, but whom any observant TV viewer knows is one of our great broadcast journalists, worthy of being considered this generation's Howard Cosell. At minimum, Amendola had obviously never seen the one-time Syracuse University Newhouse School grad's unflinching tete-a-tetes with the likes of shamed baseball icon Mark McGwire.

Sandusky was out-witted and seemingly caught off guard by Costas, who stayed composed and balanced while asking point-blank questions like, "If you're not a pedophile, then what are you?" and refusing to allow Sandusky a single evasive response. When the accused child molester claimed, "I don't think it's my fault," only acknowledging, "I've obviously played a part in this," Costas immediately insisted to know what part, to which Sandusky pitifully answered, "I shouldn't have showered with those kids."

 

You could see Costas gritting teeth and maintaining palor while Sandusky had the self-deluded, offensive gall to suggest that the children making accusations simply misinterpreted his good intentions. It was clear how sorely Costas wanted to eviscerate Sandusky and lecture him in some more obviously cathartic way. But then the story would have become about Costas, and potentially even risked portraying Sandusky as having been blindsided or attacked, which is exactly what Amendola was banking on. Instead, Costas repeatedly turned Sandusky's convoluted and contradictory pronouncements on their head and spun them back toward the retired coach, who was incapable of justifying his own incoherence. 

Of course, Costas wouldn't want to be celebrated for what he did either. It's his job, and he did it well, but it still won't change the fact that Sandusky most certainly had inappropriate contact with young boys whom he promised a brighter future, and possibly of a sexual nature. But at least he set the tone that someone amidst all this needs to start acting like an adult.

 

IN OTHER WORDS: Let's hope Sandusky goes to trial, because if guilty, it should go unmitigated. 

BOB COSTAS RATING: 10/10

STILL A LONG WAY FROM CLOSURE FOR THE VICTIMS, IF IT'S EVER POSSIBLE RATING: 1/10

COSTAS ALL BUT CONVICTING SANDUSKY BY CHARACTERIZING HIS PLED INNOCENCE AS MAKING HIM "THE UNLUCKIEST AND MOST PERSECUTED MAN THAT ANY OF US HAS EVER HEARD ABOUT" RATING: 9/10


Please friend us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Have your own rating or comments you'd like to share? Please do so in the comments below.

Reader Comments (5)

Tebow > Sandusky

November 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSlim Bender

I never know my greater than signs from my less than, but I can infer in this case.

November 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKenny Herzog

You do not know what I am referring to.

http://deadsp.in/sIF2j8

November 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSlim Bender

I refuse to read Deadspin.

November 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKenny Herzog

The article is about espn.com. It's very interesting, relavant to you and revolves around Tim Tebow. What else could you ask for in a brief column? Get over it.

November 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSlim Bender

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>