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SBD/November 15, 2011/Media
NBC's Bob Costas Draws Praise For "Rock Center" Interview With Jerry Sandusky
Published November 15, 2011
SUPERB JOB: In Boston, Mark Perigard writes Costas' interview with Sandusky “just might be the best news interview of the year.” Costas “controlled the interview with methodical, logical follow-up questions, like any good newsman, and Sandusky just dug his grave deeper.” It was a “chilling interview.” Perigard writes, “Kudos to NBC for giving Costas the reign to take it” (BOSTONHERALD.com, 11/15). In DC, Joel Achenbach writes this was “must-see, can’t-believe it TV and Bob Costas showed why he’s a superstar talent.” This was “a clinic in how to do a high-pressure, big-news TV interview on deadline” (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 11/15). In Baltimore, David Zurawik writes it was Costas who put “Rock Center,” the “self-important, over-promoted newsmagazine on the map Monday with his exclusive interview" of Sandusky. Zurawik writes, “What a ‘get’ for Costas, and what a superb job of getting to the heart of the matter.” He did it “over a phone no less -- he didn’t even have in-person access” (Baltimore SUN, 11/15). AWFULANNOUNCING.com’s Matt Yoder writes this interview was Costas “at his best -- a well prepared, cutting interview that asked many of the questions viewers at home would have likely asked themselves.” Given the “setting and the context of the interview it truly is an outstanding job by Costas” (AWFULANNOUNCING.com, 11/15).
GETTING SANDUSKY ON THE PHONE: Costas today said he was "very much” surprised Sandusky agreed to the interview. Costas: “I was set to sit down with his attorney, Joseph Amendola, and no more than 10, 15 minutes before the cameras were to roll, Amendola says, ‘What if I can get Sandusky on the phone?’ And I’m thinking, ‘I wonder, from your standpoint, whether that’s the smartest thing to do, but at the same time, sure, if you want to do it let’s get him on the phone'" ("Morning Joe," MSNBC, 11/15). Costas said there no ground rules prior to the interview but Amendola “was sitting there the whole time as the cameras rolled" ("The Dan Patrick Show," 11/15). Amendola spoke with NBC’s Ann Curry this morning live in-studio and he discussed why Sandusky conducted the interview. He said, “I explained to Jerry that this was an opportunity for him to tell people how he felt and what has happened in his life and the fact that he’s not guilty of these offenses, and he took that opportunity” (“Today,” NBC, 11/15). But ABC legal analyst Dan Abrams said, “I don’t know what he was doing doing this interview. I was sort of torn thinking, ‘How could it hurt him?’ And then I listen to the interview and I had my answer. ... This is not helpful to him at all" ("GMA," ABC, 11/15).