Jerry Sandusky Interview: Why Costas Should Be Commended for Brilliant Interview

Eric BallFeatured ColumnistNovember 15, 2011

NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 23:  NBC Commentator Bob Costas reports from the sidelines before the New Orleans Saints host the Indianapolis Colts at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 23, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

There’s a reason Bob Costas has won almost 20 sports Emmy Awards.

His smooth demeanor during Monday night’s Jerry Sandusky interview is something every young journalist should take note of.

He asked all of the questions Americans have been demanding to know the answers to over the past week. He didn’t sugarcoat any of it. He found the right balance of being skeptical, without putting Sandusky’s head on a platter. He was very prepared for the interview, yet didn’t seem formulaic whatsoever during the 10-minute segment.

The most impressive part? He somehow found the perfect balance between not being incredibly rude and hostile towards Sandusky, without sounding forgiving or sympathetic in anyway possible. He had the perfect tone. Did I mention he found out he was going to interview Sandusky a mere 15 minutes before the actual interview?

Some of his best questions:

How could somebody think they saw something as extreme and shocking as that when it hadn’t occurred and what would possibly be their motivation to fabricate it?

It seems that if all of these accusations are false, you are the unluckiest and most persecuted man that any of us has ever heard about.

It was an interview that turned into a interrogation, without it feeling as much. While it seemed nobody believed Sandusky was going to provide any sort of justification for his despicable actions, Costas dug the hole and Sandusky willingly jumped into his own coffin. (Side note: Why in the world would Sandusky’s lawyer allow him to be interviewed? He needs to be fired.)

Costas is the gold standard for sports journalism, and once again he proved why. It’s hard to imagine any other journalist involved predominately in sports handling the intensely delicate situation so well. There were a million ways he could have screwed up.

Sandusky is now guiltier in the public eye than ever before, and you can thank the straightforward and strong line of questioning of Costas.

Follow BigLeagueEball on Twitter