OK. I’ll admit it. By 10 at night, I’m generally sound asleep, with the TV still wide awake and providing background noise. So I missed the broadcasts last night on ABC and NBC with Gabrielle Giffords and Jerry Sandusky. At it’s too bad that the interviews were on competing networks at the same time because they provided a glimpse about what’s right with this country and what’s terribly wrong.
If I need to spell out which is which then you’ve been spending too much time worrying about Kim Kardashian and her made-for-TV wedding and subsequent divorce filing. Just sayin’.
So which is the more important story? One about an American hero who took bullets in the head from a lunatic while she was meeting with her constituents in what is the very essence of our form of representative democracy. Or one about a former football coach who at best admits that he enjoyed showering and horsing around with young boys.
Here’s from WaPo, “NBC ambushes ABC’s Gabrielle Giffords chat with Jerry Sandusky interview“:
NBC News announced late Monday its intention to nuke ABC News’s interview with Rep.Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz) with an interview of its own — between Bob Costas and former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky, in which Sandusky admits to “showering and horsing around with young boys” but insists he is “innocent of those charges.”
Joe Paterno’s one-time defensive coordinator, and founder of a charity to help at-risk youth, has been charged with 40 counts of sexually abusing eight boys dating back as far as 1994, A grand jury report detailed claims of alleged sexual encounters with young boys in Sandusky’s house, in hotels, and in Penn State locker rooms.
So while Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly chat with Diane Sawyer about how humor and determination were key to Gabrielle’s recovery after being shot in the head in January — over on NBC’s new newsmag “Rock Center with Brian Williams, Sandusky will be telling Costas: “I could say that I have done some of those things. I have horsed around with kids I have showered with after workouts. I have hugged them, and I have touched their legs without intent of sexual contact.”
“I shouldn’t have showered with those kids,” he’ll also concede, when pressed by Costas, in his first interview since the sex abuse scandal accusations.
Giffords’ hasn’t got a chance, ratings-wise. November sweep competition sure can be brutal.
This morning, most of the Talking Heads on the early-morning news shows were focused on Sandusky and the Bob Costas interview.
Hate to say it, but while Sandusky and the scandal at Penn State that touches on a whole host of legal and ethical issues will hold the public’s attention for much longer than Kim’s marriage, there’s nothing that the former defense coordinator can say that could possibly overshadow the inspiring message of Gabby Giffords.