Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My Thank You to Bob Costas and Jerry Sandusky, Too

I gotta send a big thank you to Bob Costas. Upon hearing NBC was doing this interview, I was pissed that your show was going to be a platform for Jerry Sandusky. However, I think the the surpisingly bad interview will only be helpful for justice in the future. You did a bang up job, asked excellent questions, and gave us an opportunity to hear from the alleged pedophile himself in an a way that I would not have predicted. The 10 minute or so phone interview did nothing to change my view of the horrific case at Penn State U and the alleged crimes of this horrific man. But unexpectedly the interview gave me and the prosecutors more corroboration.

This may sound strange but I am also sending a big "thank you" to Jerry Sandusky, for being so darn typical, that is typical of the words of a predator. Your answers and lack of answers were telling. I particularly enjoyed how you did this as a phone interview not allowing anyone to judge your facial expressions and lack thereof in order to really assess your credibility. You, like every other accused deserve a vehement defense and are entitled to every protection of the law in a court of law. But last night you chose to play in a place that doesn’t have the same legal protections. You played in the court of public opinion via the media and in my view convicted yourself while also previewing the legal case to come. For your sake, I hope the legal decisions and tactics are more strategized, more believable and more helpful as last night’s showing was pathetic for both you as an individual and despicable for the defense of your case as a whole. I mean, who puts their client on the tv (even via phone) for an interview at all? Did Amendola and Sandusky not hear about the Conrad Murray taped interview? There is a reason that we have the 5th Amendment. I still have not seen an interview yet where anyone thinks this helped your case. Frankly, I could care less if you and your lawyer make ridiculous decisions and chose to yap despite the protections of the 5th Amendment.

We have learned a lot from the Grand Jury Indictment but the tidbits we saw in Bob Costas’ interview were the most insightful and telling. To his demise, Sandusky may have implicitly divulged key facts about the defense strategy and offered a sneak peak into what’s ahead in the legal battle.

Many of you have emailed, tweeted, and facebooked me, etc saying “creepy”, “gross”, “disgusting”. Many had that feeling but let me point you to the specifics so you understand why.

This was an interview where we merely heard the voice of the accused. He had no affect, no emotion, and no face. There is no doubt that this was intentionally orchestrated. Trust me, NBC can find an optic wire to satellite him, or Skype would have worked too. The ability to believe and trust comes from things like eye contact, sincerity, and facial expressions. Without having that benefit we can only assume he either had none or even worse had facial expressions and affect that his attorneys were so concerned about that they hid him.

2. THE “UMs” AND THE “UHs”
Even without the “tells” of facial expressions, the interview still painted a very eerie picture. There were countless times when Sandusky stumbled and seemed to be searching for the words while being asked the most basic of questions.

How hard is it just to say no?
BOB COSTAS: Are you sexually attracted to young boys, to underage boys?

JERRY SANDUSKY: Am I sexually attracted to underage boys?


JERRY SANDUSKY: Sexually attracted, you know, I enjoy young people. I love to

be around them. But no I’m not sexually attracted to young boys.

“An innocent person doesn’t have to repeat that question and then parse it, ” said a Joel Achenbach a Washington Post blogger.   "The innocent would have said, simply, “no!”  he added. 

Same thing happens here:

Do you feel guilty? Do you feel as if it's your fault?


How hard is that to answer that question? I mean really!!!

NBC touted the interview as breaking-silence but there were certainly pauses and long moments of silence. Silence may not be used against you in a courtroom but it can in a TV interview. Silence can either be seen as a tacit admission, a sign of inability to answer, shame, or even guilt. When asked what he has to say about those who see him as a monster, Sandusky struggled to come up with a response, almost conceding to the label. “I don't know what I can say or what I could say that would make anybody feel any different now. I would just say that if somehow people could hang out until my attorney has a chance to fight, you know, for my innocence. That's about all I could ask right now. And you know, obviously, it's a huge challenge,” he said.

More than one time, Costas asked why several unrelated people over the span of years would falsely accuse Sandusky of the same pattern of misconduct. Nearly each and every time, Sandusky responds, “You’d have to ask them.” No, Mr. Sandusky, YOU were asked for a logical explanation as to why so many unrelated people would have varying accounts of the same abusive behavior on different occasions. On the surface, Sandusky was a revered football coach for a Division I school and a very charitable man. Why would several people who don’t know each other wrongly accuse Sandusky of the most heinous acts? The only answer Sandusky could come up with was to divert the question and victimize himself. Thank you Bob Costas for pointing out the lack of sincerity in Sandusky’s response by stating that he must just be the “unluckiest and most persecuted man that any of us has ever heard about.”

Another classic maneuver for a perpetrator to separate himself from any future guilt is blame. Sandusky already set up the blame and strategy to be on his lawyer. In his words, “if somehow people could hang out until my attorney has a chance to fight, you know, for my innocence.” What words were noticeably absent? - “The truth will come out,” “I will be exonerated,” and “This is a terrible injustice.” That was far from what we heard. What he gave were long pauses, ums, and stumbling to denounce that he’s sexually attracted to young boys. Translation of that is I am guilty and I hope my lawyer can get me out of this jam. And what message was also received but not stated…I am taking this to trial to save myself and maybe even save those who tried to save my ass. Hell, he must think he has nothing to lose.

While I could continue to analyze the telltale moments of the interview, the single most important aspect was that it provided great intel and a heads up to the prosecution of what’s to come. Joseph Amendola stated: “We expect we're going to have a number of kids. Now how many of those so-called eight kids, we're not sure. But we anticipate we're going to have at least several of those kids come forward and say this never happened. This is me. This is the allegation. It never occurred. In fact, one of the toughest allegations -- the McQueary violations -- what McQueary said he saw, we have information that that child says that never happened. Now grown up... now the person's in his twenties.”

Ladies and gentleman, you may remember the McMartin case here in my City of Angels. To remind you I quote,“The McMartin preschool trial was a day care sexual abuse case of the 1980s. Members of the McMartin family, who operated a preschool in California, were charged with numerous acts of sexual abuse of children in their care. Accusations were made in 1983. Arrests and the pretrial investigation ran from 1984 to 1987, and the trial ran from 1987 to 1990. After six years of criminal trials, no convictions were obtained, and all charges were dropped in 1990. When the trial ended in 1990 it had been the longest and most expensive criminal trial in American history. The case was part of day care sex abuse hysteria, a moral panic over satanic ritual abuse in the 1980s and early 1990s.”

Think I’m kidding? Sandusky supporters are already commenting all over the blogosphere even on, a comprehensive website featuring news, sports, entertainment, and information about Central Pennsylvania. Like Creole Chavez said, November 11, 2011 at 6:35PM, “Maybe Sandusky is highly likely to be guilty, but the McMartin preschool was burnt to the ground too. It was also later proven to be all LIES. That is why folks need to rant here and not go vigilante. It tends not to turn out well. No sense in someone that thinks they are helping to add to the fire. Eric Rudolph did not help the pro-life crowd. Yes, be angry and scream, but do no harm. Enough physical harm has already been done. Roll Tide.”

As AP columnist, Mac Engle so aptly stated, “Nothing in this approximately 10-minute interview is apt to change the public's perception that Sandusky's behavior is anything other than amoral, criminal and sick under any code in any society. For the sake of argument, let us assume that the very worst act Sandusky committed is that he showered with young boys, and that he touched their legs without sexual intent. As a parent, I would want to know this so I could make my own judgment and take appropriate action. This is black and white. This is not horseplay. There is no oops. There is no misunderstanding. Get out of my kid's shower. And don't you lay a finger on my kid, you repugnant creep.”

So a big thank you to Bob Costas. You helped those who will prosecute Sandusky have a preview of how the defense will present its case. You let us hear the words of this accused pedophile failing to change the minds of the public. And hopefully, each child who was abused (especially the ones that could have been spared had the mandated reporters reported) will be able to say thank you, too if this interview is replayed in a real court for a juror to hear.

1 comment:

Karin Hiebert said...

Brilliant! No other word, or words are needed in commenting on the piece...