Having once upon a time been the point person for "Larry King Live" for negotiating these kinds of interviews, I can assure you that no matter how gross the subject may be, plenty of network talk shows are clamoring for Jerry Sandusky face time. It's not right, I know, but it is a virtual ratings guaranty. Why else would The New York Times give him four hours of exposure? It's probably created the most hits their website received since the killing of bin Laden, not to mention collateral exposure in myriad other forms of media. The Times scored the big bounce.
I can imagine the negotiations going on between Jerry's lawyer and the networks. Not much changes over the years in the booking business, except for becoming more mercenery. The plesaant calls to either the lawyer's or Sandusky's home. The pleas. The promise of understanding. The assurances of discretion and comfort. The entreaties that begin, "we would be honored." The flowers. The other presents.
That's the normal order of pursuit in the booking business. Plus being there. Dinners with the celebrity anchor, so forth. After all, I booked an interview with Charlie Manson. Been there, done that. I would be impressed with news organizations that did NOT give Sandusky a chance to talk. Leave it to the courts and a jury. He's got what appears to be a sketchy lawyer and this whole media gambit stinks of trying to taint the jury pool.
If I were to interview anyone I would want to interview his wife. Why? Read this paragraph from The Associated Press: The accuser said that Sandusky forced the boy to perform oral sex and attempted on at least 16 occasions to anally penetrate him, sometimes successfully. "The victim testified that on at least one occasion he screamed for help, knowing that Sandusky's wife was upstairs, but no one ever came to help him," the grand jury report said. That's why.
For analysis in a story like the Penn State scandal, for better or worse (but mostly better), I do not go to network news but to cable, to folks like Dr. Drew Pinsky. The conventional media don't have the stomach for delving into the murkiness of the alleged facts. Another cable star, Anderson Cooper, is doing a good job, too. He has the feel for the subtext. Tonight he interviewed an "expert," who said this sort of story is better handled by the National Enquierer. Good call, because the Sandusky story is in the gutter.
I have two friends, a man and a woman, who each were very young victims of pedophiles. From what they told me about their experiences I don't consider it simple abuse. It is a form of mass murder. Pedophiles are comparable to serial killers and should be prosecuted that way. They cannot be cured. This isn't a random comment on my part. It is the view of medical professionals.
When I was with CBS News I did a story on The National Association of Man Boy Love. It is a delusional organization, the lobby shop for pedophilia. Friends often don't believe me when I say that such an organization exists, but it does. Please, click on the link. You'll see. The website states: "Man/Boy Love is as old as love itself, and stories of it have been told for thousands of years. Through these stories, we can gain insights into the nature of man/boy relationships in various manifestations and social settings."
It goes on like that, with gentle and adoring pictures of boys.