Tomorrow NBC’s “Today” will feature former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky speaking “in his own words.” Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of child sex abuse last year. As we noted when we reported about the interview on Friday, Sandusky has not spoken out since the conviction, and prior to it only gave a phone interview to NBC’s Bob Costas.
However, NBC’s “interview” isn’t really what it seems. Documentary filmmaker John Ziegler—best known for his 2009 film Media Malpractice: How Obama Got Elected And Palin Was Targeted–is the one who secured the footage of Sandusky, and is using it for a new film “The Framing of Joe Paterno.” Ziegler will be a guest on “Today” tomorrow, where he will reveal some of the footage. In other words, while NBC certainly left the impression that someone from the network would be interviewing Sandusky, it is in fact footage from Ziegler and his team, and NBC had no control or say in it.
“In an exclusive interview airing Monday on TODAY, former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky will speak out for the first time since he went to prison,” the show wrote in an article on Today.com. That probably leaves readers with the impression that NBC journalists were involved, even though it technically never says NBC conducted the interview.
Ziegler, perhaps getting ahead of his “Today” appearance, wrote a blog post called “An Open Letter to the News Media: How to Do a Hit Piece on John Ziegler.”