For work reasons, I've been away from the realm of connectivity longer than I anticipated. As a quick re-entry note, before a longer item forthcoming shortly on "the Mormon question" and then some other topics (including WTF with these weird Chinese structures that have shown up via satellite and that everyone is writing about), here is a note with which I agree 100%. A reader writes:
Was curious if you saw Bob Costas' interview with Sandusky. [See Atlantic Wire item for background.] Putting aside the content of the awful Penn State mess, it's worth watching Costas's fabulous technique. Such a professional. Totally prepared. Didn't fill silences. Crafted questions in a way that illuminated while getting himself out of the way. I complain alot about the quality of reporting out there. But this was outstanding. Any young reporter would do well to emulate.
Agreed. Serious without being sanctimonious. Skillful and natural-seeming use of the pressure of silence. Going into horrifying and titillating material in absolutely straightforward non-smirky fashion. Relentless without seeming bullying. [More from Ta-Nehisi Coates on the interview too.]
A lot of the time, when you see a "star" interviewer on TV, you get a lesson in posturing or narcissism that you hope young journalists will ignore. This is the reverse. I'm sure if we went through all of Bob Costas's oeuvre (or mine, or anyone's), we'd find some less impressive examples. But this could hardly have been handled better on his side. Sandusky could hardly have handled himself worse, but that is not Costas's fault. Well done by Bob Costas and NBC.
UPDATE A reader writes:
Agreed that Bob Costas is a competent interviewer. And that's precisely why we will never see him interview Speaker Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, etc.