Sandusky Defense Seizes on Sloppy Editing by NBC News for Appeal

This article is from the archive of our partner .

Lawyers for Jerry Sandusky plan to appeal his conviction on the grounds that an NBC interview with the former coach, which was played for jurors, contained an editing error. Sound familiar?

A misleadingly edited phone call between a 911 dispatcher and George Zimmerman, the man who shot Trayvon Martin, aired on NBC's the "Today" show late last March. NBC issued an apology, someone was fired, and the mis-edit of the news stole the spotlight from, you know, the actual news.

Well, here we go again. 

According to Reutersthree versions of Bob Costas' NBC News interview with Sandusky aired last November on different NBC shows. The version that aired on the "Today" show contained an inaccurate repetition of a question-and-answer that Sandusky's lawyers said made it appear he was stonewalling. 

In the Sandusky interview with NBC, Costas asks, "Are you sexually attracted to young boys, to underage boys?" according to an NBC News transcript.

Sandusky responded, "Am I sexually attracted to underage boys?"

But in the "Today" version, which was played for jurors and is still available on YouTube (here), the exchange was repeated.

          Above: the version of Sandusky's interview that appeared on the "Today" show and was shown to jurors. 

Recommended Reading

“It wasn’t noticed by [NBC News], it wasn’t noticed by us, but it became obvious when it played in court,” Nils Frederiksen, spokesman for the Pennsylvania attorney general, told Reuters.

Anyone with even a vague knowledge of film editing is questioning how NBC did not "notice" repeating a piece of footage in a segment that aired accurately on two other shows. It's either intentionally misleading or unforgivably sloppy. Either way, it now may serve as the grounds for a costly appeals process. 

NBC, get it together, man. Some of us still kind of want to believe that TV news tells the (typically sensationalized) truth. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.