Bob Costas Expresses Doubts On Media Narrative of Sandusky Scandal

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Acclaimed sports broadcaster Bob Costas first stepped into the Penn State scandal when he interviewed Jerry Sandusky as the former coach awaited trial. Costas was the first to speak with Sandusky after the allegations arose and pushed him on his denial of the charges, leading to the unforgettable, long-winded response to the question of whether Sandusky is sexually attracted to children.

After vilifying Joe Paterno at one point, Costas later pivoted his stance on the coach’s involvement in any sort of coverup involving Sandusky, publicly stating his doubts on the Freeh Report. On Thursday, Costas again reiterated the need for the public to reexamine the media’s conclusions on the scandal.

According to IndieWire, a screening of the documentary “Happy Valley” was held on Thursday by filmmakers Barbara Lopple and Steve James in New York, with Costas on hand to provide an introduction to the audience.

“What much of America and what much of the media decided was the truth a couple of years ago is largely in doubt right now,” he said. “There are so many areas of gray. There are so many areas of nuance that were passed over. There are so many questions as yet unanswered.”

Costas went on to blame what he called the “easy narrative” for the heavily one-sided coverage of what happened at Penn State.

“The easy narrative became we were all fooled and football became king,” he said. “Maybe not in the way that it’s king at Alabama or Texas or Florida State, but it became king in a different way and it blinded people to what was going on and it skewed the sense of morality.”

While Costas made sure to disclaim that the documentary can not and does not show the full truth, he said it comes about as close as possible and takes a look at many different perspectives on the scandal (we will have a full review of the documentary in the coming week).

“The film doesn’t as much take one side as it shows all sides,” he said. “It shows not just the various facts or versions of events that there are to be considered, but also the various perspectives and deeply held emotions that people feel about this case. So is it the entire truth? No film, no matter how well made, and this one is very well made, can tell the entire truth. But is it a contribution to the truth? Damn straight.”

The documentary is set to release in New York theaters on Nov. 19 and Los Angeles theaters on Nov. 21. On the latter date, it will also be available on iTunes, Amazon Instant, YouTube, and other digital platforms.

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Zach Berger

Zach Berger is a StateCollege.com reporter and Onward State's Managing Editor Emeritus. You can find him at the Phyrst more nights than not. If he had to pick a last meal, Zach would go for a medium-rare New York strip steak with a side of garlic mashed potatoes and a cold BrewDog Punk IPA. You can reach him via e-mail at zach@onwardstate.com or on Twitter at @theZachBerger.

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